Koukash blasts points deduction

  • Last Updated: June 14 2013, 15:51 BST

Salford owner Marwan Koukash claims his club are being "victimised" by the Rugby Football League after having two points deducted for having 14 players on the field during a win over Castleford.

Marwan Koukash: Hit out at the RFL
Marwan Koukash: Hit out at the RFL

The Reds were on Friday stripped of the points they gained from their 34-30 victory over the Tigers on April 27 after a mix-up involving the fourth official resulted in them having an extra man on the pitch at a crucial time in the game.

Salford forward Darrell Griffin and the player who was replacing him, Vic Mauro, both became involved in tackles and the Reds successfully defended their line for three plays with 14 men.

The club were initially fined £10,000 after being found guilty by a Rugby Football League tribunal of breaching regulations but they lodged an appeal and, although an RFL appeals tribunal agreed to halve the fine, they imposed a points deduction.

The points loss means that Salford are now back at the foot of the Super League table.

"We are extremely disappointed with the outcome," Koukash said.

"Obviously when the fine was imposed, we thought it was very, very harsh and that is why we appealed."

The multi-millionaire Koukash, who has already caused a stir at Red Hall by suggesting he will flout the salary-cap rules next year in a bid to turn the struggling Reds into potential trophy winners, today hinted he may take the matter further.

He claims a precedent was set in 2006 when St Helens were fined £100 for having 14 players on the pitch during a match against Hull.

Koukash also believes it is wrong to compare Salford's misdemeanour with breaches of salary cap and insolvency regulations which resulted in the only previous cases of points deductions.

"To impose a £10,000 fine on us was very hard to accept considering a similar mistake by another team a few years ago resulted in a fine of £100," he said.

"I accept that St Helens went on to lose the match but both mistakes were the same. There shouldn't be so much difference between the fines. I don't think the amount was fair.

"I don't know if they are trying to send me a message or not.

"I would like to read the report in full before I can consider taking it further but it was not something we did deliberately.

"I think everybody accepted it was a mistake and we were partly responsible. The fourth official should take some responsibility as well. He should never have waved our player on before another came off.

"I may be wrong, but previously the only time a club has been deducted points was for breaching the salary cap.

"I feel we are being victimised. A mistake was made in the heat of the moment, with only a few minutes to go in the match."

Koukash questioned why a points deduction was not imposed at the original hearing and expressed his disquiet over the intervention of Warrington's former England coach Tony Smith, who publicly slammed the RFL for failing to dock Salford points.

Smith said after the initial hearing: "I would hate to have lost that game because our opponents had an extra man out there.

"I just think it sends out a poor message, that if you are prepared to pay for it then you can get away with it."

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