Koukash: Latics valuation not ideal
Date published: 24 September 2013
WOULD-BE Athletic owner Dr Marwan Koukash says the club’s valuation of its worth is too high.
Director Barry Owen says the ball remains in Koukash’s court following talks with Athletic chairman Simon Corney three months ago.
“If he’s serious, all he has to do is arrange to meet ourselves and make a firm bid,” Owen said on BBC Radio Manchester.
But Koukash told the Chronicle the club is aware of his position — that it is overvalued.
“I value things as a business,” the Salford Red Devils owner and horse-racing magnate said. “The valuation is not ideal for what we have in mind. I know Simon Corney and the board have invited me to make a bid, but it isn’t that simple. They may have scored an own goal there.”
Koukash hopes to meet again with Corney in the next two to three weeks.
Of his ambitious project to build a new stadium for Athletic and Oldham RL, he promised “never” to move the clubs outside the town.
A redevelopment of Boundary Park has been ruled out, but he refuses to be drawn on which larger sites his team is considering.
Without a new, multi-use venue with substantial commercial potential being given the green light, the entire plan will come to a halt.
“We know what it will cost to build a new stadium and what it would cost to redevelop,” Koukash said.
“There are no added benefits to redeveloping Boundary Park. You can’t make it the destination we want it to become, because the site simply isn’t big enough. For both clubs to progress, for this to work, for me it has to be a brand new site and a brand new stadium.”
Rainford-based Koukash held productive talks at his home with the chairman of Oldham RL, Chris Hamilton, last week.
He said he has been speaking to Oldham Council about his plans: “It is a genuine project, but it needs other people to buy into it — including Simon,” he added. “Chris (Hamilton) is fine and there are no issues there whatsoever.”
The Jordan-born 54-year-old said he has people lined up to move both clubs forward — rejecting the idea that adding Oldham to his interests would leave too much for him to do.
He added: “I have people who can raise the profile of the clubs straight away. There is no doubt about that. At this moment I can’t reveal who. We are still in the preliminary stages of the project.”
The Chronicle understands Koukash has requested a meeting with Oldham Council leader Councillor Jim McMahon, but nothing has taken place face-to-face yet.
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