Koukash wants Liverpool team in League 1 by 2021

Marwan Koukash says he wants to take away the perception that rugby league is a town sport as he aims to launch a Liverpool-based rugby league team.

The former Salford owner will come together with businessmen Luke Backhouse and Andrew Mikhail in a bid to build the club from scratch in the world-famous city.

Although he has not ruled out rebranding an existing club, Koukash says they already have interested sponsors and have identified a potential stadium for the Liverpool RLFC project.

After failing in a recent bid to takeover Widnes Vikings, the racehorse millionaire now wants to follow the example of Toronto Wolfpack with the aim of starting in League 1 as soon as 2021.

“I’ve looked at a number of clubs to invest in and get involved because I love rugby league,” Koukash said. “Rugby league is in my blood, as it is in the blood of Andrew and Luke.

“The three of us are fairly comfortable financially and we have invested heavily in rugby league in the past in the form of sponsorship or ownership etc.

“We are in discussions with the council and we’ve got options on a ground, which I think will end up being in the Sefton area of Liverpool.

“We’re going to build a new ground and get started as soon as we can.

“We’re open to starting in League 1 or the alternative maybe is we are told by the RFL that it might be easier to buy an existing club and re-brand it.

“We hope to launch the project at the Magic Weekend and this year we will try to encourage the amateur game in Liverpool and also introduce rugby league into the schools.

“There is a lot of groundwork to be done but we intend to do it from ground zero.”

Koukash has not been involved in rugby league for just over 12 months, but this new venture appears to have reignited his passion to make the sport more appealing in bigger areas of the country.

“I’m a great believer in big brands and I think it would be fantastic to have a team like Liverpool playing a team like Leeds on television,” he said.

“That would have a massive influence on people because, while St Helens-Wigan was a fantastic game, people automatically think it’s a town sport.”

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