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Joe Whitley

Salford want Sonny Bill and Slater

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One of the stories we printed in this week's League Express has caused quite a stir - it's the one about Marwan Koukash (the Salford owner), who has received backing from GB legend Alex Murphy to lift the salary cap to sign Sonny Bill Williams and Billy Slater.

 

If you want more information you can find it here: http://www.totalrl.com/web/koukash-still-sonny-bill-slater/

 

On Twitter, the news has been met with almost complete criticism. No-one seems to like Koukash or think he has the ability to bring big-name players to a small club like Salford. Money talks, though, and if the RFL do agree to lift the cap or allow clubs to work around it, I can definitely see at least one of those two coming on a year-long deal worth thousands a week.

 

What does everyone else think? Is Koukash deluded or just doing his best to raise his club's profile? Personally I think someone like him is good for the game. Maybe not for the tradition of it but certainly for its finances.

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Can't see it happening , no matter how much they offer, what with the money in the NRL now and the exchange rates etc, why would two players top of there game in the best competition in the world swap Aus for Manchester? Could he really match the money and lifestyle?

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The best thing about Slater playing in England is he wouldn't be allowed to play for the Aussies. Come on Koukash, get your wallet out and sign Slater, Inglis, Smith, Thurston and Cronk.

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I've said it before - these kind of calls sound a bit like those the Venkys were making a Blackburn Rovers when they first got here. You know, Beckham/Ronaldhino for the rovers! And look how that has panned out...

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I think we could see good players like Minichello over here, but not the top players in their prime. Wigan have snared Bowen, who is about the highest profile signing we have seen since Bird and Monaghan, but even then that's for a swansong - we need the player in question to be booted out of the NRL or going round one last time. Of course, if we had stayed as a winter sport we'd have been able to bring them over on short term deals...

If we did have a marquee player exemption, that would be a wonderful thing, though even then I suspect we'd have more chance with Welsh and Scottish union backs than getting teh cream of the NRL crop. Wigan might even bring Sam back one day...

Incidentally, is Koukash really worth 100s of millions, as quoted in the SMH? Looking at his horse racing, he has gone from nowhere to a very serious player in no time, which suggests very serious money indeed, but his gaff in Rainford isn't as flash as you'd expect for the North's wealthiest man.

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Can't see it happening , no matter how much they offer, what with the money in the NRL now and the exchange rates etc, why would two players top of there game in the best competition in the world swap Aus for Manchester? Could he really match the money and lifestyle?

 

Not sure... Manchester is a good city, though clearly much colder. And I'm certain he can easily beat their current wages. Will have to see what happens. Would be amazing to have those two in Super League, wouldn't it?

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The best thing about Slater playing in England is he wouldn't be allowed to play for the Aussies. Come on Koukash, get your wallet out and sign Slater, Inglis, Smith, Thurston and Cronk.

 

Brilliant point!

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and I'd rather see Inglis or Hayne than Slater, as they are pure excitement machines. I'd even pick them ahead of Thornley on current form.

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I've said it before - these kind of calls sound a bit like those the Venkys were making a Blackburn Rovers when they first got here. You know, Beckham/Ronaldhino for the rovers! And look how that has panned out...

 

There's definitely a chance it could work out like this, but he has already put his money where his mouth is signing Chase, Morley, Meli etc.

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I think we could see good players like Minichello over here, but not the top players in their prime. Wigan have snared Bowen, who is about the highest profile signing we have seen since Bird and Monaghan, but even then that's for a swansong - we need the player in question to be booted out of the NRL or going round one last time. Of course, if we had stayed as a winter sport we'd have been able to bring them over on short term deals...

If we did have a marquee player exemption, that would be a wonderful thing, though even then I suspect we'd have more chance with Welsh and Scottish union backs than getting teh cream of the NRL crop. Wigan might even bring Sam back one day...

Incidentally, is Koukash really worth 100s of millions, as quoted in the SMH? Looking at his horse racing, he has gone from nowhere to a very serious player in no time, which suggests very serious money indeed, but his gaff in Rainford isn't as flash as you'd expect for the North's wealthiest man.

 

Not sure what the exact figure is but he made a lot of money in engineering I believe before buying horses. He's no Roman Abramovic I don't think, but should have enough to tempt some big names to Salford.

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and I'd rather see Inglis or Hayne than Slater, as they are pure excitement machines. I'd even pick them ahead of Thornley on current form.

 

I think that goes without saying. They're younger, faster and stronger than Slater. Though I don't think any full back on the planet has his mental ability. I think the reason he is going after Slater is he knows he has probably peaked on the international scene so wouldn't mind having to miss some matches as a sacrifice for playing in England. I doubt Inglis or Hayne would do that.

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Not a hope in 'that nasty place' of the big names coming to Salford

Billy and the other names mentioned still have better prospects in NRL or in SBW case 'wherever!'

Must say I'm looking forward to seeing Bowen in SL.

It may be a swansong deal, but he was playing really well last season and will really test SL opponents

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There's definitely a chance it could work out like this, but he has already put his money where his mouth is signing Chase, Morley, Meli etc.

Players whose career has peaked. Hardly the same.

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l

Not sure... Manchester is a good city, though clearly much colder. And I'm certain he can easily beat their current wages. Will have to see what happens. Would be amazing to have those two in Super League, wouldn't it?

Yeah Manchester is a good city but it doesn't have the beaches and the outdoor lifestyle of Aus. Having said that Leon Pryce might be able to sell it to them, he'd rather be on Blackpool beach than Bondi if I recall :-)

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Of course he could tempt them if the amount of money offered was substantial enough to meet their and agent demands and was well above what they currently got.   OK the life style may not be as per Sydney but it would only be a couple of years, hardly a life time.

 

Not saying it will happen and if its only a publicity stunt but can't see how anyone can think a player wouldn't be tempted for an amount of money that they saw as something they wouldn't earn elsewhere, especially one that had already achieved his career goals.

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On Twitter, the news has been met with almost complete criticism.

That could be said for absolutely ANY Rugby League news item.

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Yeah Manchester is a good city but it doesn't have the beaches and the outdoor lifestyle of Aus. Having said that Leon Pryce might be able to sell it to them, he'd rather be on Blackpool beach than Bondi if I recall :-)

I doubt they'd be in Manchester though. They'd most likely end up in Salford. Probably on the Quays, which is much nicer than anything Manchester has to offer.

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One of the stories we printed in this week's League Express has caused quite a stir - it's the one about Marwan Koukash (the Salford owner), who has received backing from GB legend Alex Murphy to lift the salary cap to sign Sonny Bill Williams and Billy Slater.

 

On Twitter, the news has been met with almost complete criticism. Personally I think someone like him is good for the game. Maybe not for the tradition of it but certainly for its finances.

 

Take it to it's conclusion, He gets Williams, Slater, Hayne and Inglis. Then he picks up Roby, Hall, Moon, Brough, Farrell etc. Then he wins everything every year for years to come lets say 28  trophies in 10 years?

 

I think we have been there before and it's not good for the games finances. As for total stars like Williams and Slater the only way top players will sign over here is if they are going to play for a very top club. The criticisms would not be there if he just got his head down and tried to strengthen the game itself in Manchester/Salford.

 

Now if he could find a few rich mates for other SL clubs fine.....

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I hope Koukash gets his way. At the end of the day, having big names won't just put more bums on seats at Salford, but every club they play.

 

If someone is willing to shell out, no governing body should stop them.

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Personally I like Marwan's 'can do' attitude although I know it does n't always sit well with the bah humbug brigade.

Brian Noble has sensibly steered him to targets that can not only play footie but are charismatic and consequently bring a lot more bang for

your buck.

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Personally, I think that if he wanted to shell out for Usain Bolt as a winger I'd go with it. That stadium would be full week in, week out.

 

To make business sense, some of the players have to have names that are in the British public consciousness as a whole.

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I would welcome a marquee player rule being brought into superleague (I would like to see some tight control of this to insure it is affordable for the club for example, and would also like to see a similar cost being ploughed back into grassroots somehow but this is a seperate discussion).

 

I think we underestimate the attractiveness and pull of living in the UK to an Aussie (or other foreigner). Yes the North of England may be grey and damp ( a winters day in Melbourne can be pretty grey and damp too guys) but we have a rich abundance of history and culture which lacks in other parts of the world. I Have lived out of the UK for 4 years now and came home for the world cup and really fell back in love with the grey and damp north of england!

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Personally, I think that if he wanted to shell out for Usain Bolt as a winger I'd go with it. That stadium would be full week in, week out.

 

To make business sense, some of the players have to have names that are in the British public consciousness as a whole.

 

Couldn't agree more.

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I would welcome a marquee player rule being brought into superleague (I would like to see some tight control of this to insure it is affordable for the club for example, and would also like to see a similar cost being ploughed back into grassroots somehow but this is a seperate discussion).

 

I think we underestimate the attractiveness and pull of living in the UK to an Aussie (or other foreigner). Yes the North of England may be grey and damp ( a winters day in Melbourne can be pretty grey and damp too guys) but we have a rich abundance of history and culture which lacks in other parts of the world. I Have lived out of the UK for 4 years now and came home for the world cup and really fell back in love with the grey and damp north of england!

 

I agree with this having travelled myself. There are buildings in the UK older than the USA itself (the country obviously, not the land)!

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Players whose career has peaked. Hardly the same.

 

 

That's not the point, though. He has brought in big names like he promised. That's all I was saying.

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