Salford owner Marwan Koukash has announced that he will be leaving the club with immediate effect and handing the ownership over to a specially-appointed trust.
Koukash, who took charge at Salford in 2013, will now give the reins to a community trust, with the Salford chief insisting it will not impact on the club whatsoever.
In a statement, he said: “As I have always said, I am merely a custodian of the club, which will always be bigger than any individual who owns it, and will continue longer than any one person can run it.
“To this end the club, quite rightly, must always belong to the fans and the local community of Salford. I will continue to hold very high regard for our fans and the wider community supporting us. For this reason I have rejected lucrative offers to relocate or rebrand the club,having seen that there is an overwhelming passion from the fans to retain the Salford name.
“I have now instructed my legal team, subject to RFL approval, to establish a trust to take ownership of the club for the benefit of the fans and the local community of Salford.
“I will appoint a board of trustees to include local Salford businessmen and a representative of the fans to be elected by the season ticket holders, which will ensure the fans have a prominent voice in the running of the club. I am confident that the new structure at the club under the guidance of the Trustees will see the club continue to make progress on and off the pitch.”
Koukash also insisted that his decision to leave Salford had nothing to do with the RFL, with whom he has had several high-profile disputes in the past.
“During my time running the club,” he said, “I have faced many challenges and have met them head on. My family and I have enjoyed many great times here, creating very fond memories and friendships that will stay with us.
“I have genuinely grown to absolutely love both the game of Rugby League and the Red Devils, and I still care deeply about it. My decision is nothing to do with the operation of the game or the RFL, whom during my time I have challenged but also have enjoyed a fantastic working relationship, especially during 2017. They have my ongoing respect.
“I look forward to joining our loyal supporters and all my friends when I visit in the grandstands at the stadium next season.”