Scottish Third Division Rangers suffered a £6M ($9.5M) "hammer blow" Wednesday when their compensation claim against six former players was thrown out at Hampden, according to Keith Jackson of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. But the club has "vowed to fight on" in a bid to reclaim the cash CEO Charles Green believes he is due from the transfers of Allan McGregor, Steven Whittaker, Steven Naismith, Kyle Lafferty, Sone Aluko and Jamie Ness. The six players left the club as free agents rather than sign for the newco last summer, prompting Green to ask the Scottish FA to "convene an independent arbitration panel to rule on the dispute." He insists that the players "broke employment rules by refusing to stay under TUPE regulations." Green’s cash claim has now "been dismissed by that expert panel who believe the players had every right to turn his offer down and accept lucrative deals elsewhere" (DAILY RECORD, 1/31).
German Hockey League (DEL) CEO Gernot Tripcke "sees only a future for the financially struggling Dusseldorf EG in the DEL if the club receives support from large-scale investors," according to SPOX. Tripcke said, "It is certainly not enough to count only on 'young guns' and on the motto: 'We will do it solely with standing-room fans.' This sounds great, but nowadays you couldn't even finance a Oberliga team (third-tier team) with it." The DEG has to have a budget of at least €4M-5M ($5.4M-6.8M) to be competitive in the DEL. Tripcke said that "time is running out." Tripcke: "You have to acquire possible sponsors right now, not at the last second. Then I believe the DEG can be rescued." DEL clubs have to apply for a license for the upcoming season by Feb. 15 and pay a security deposit of €100,000 ($136,000). The DEG currently needs more than €2M ($2.7M) to cover its budget of about €4M for the upcoming season (SPOX, 1/30).
Kuwait-born businessman Marwan Koukash "has completed his takeover" of Super League rugby side Salford City Reds, according to the BBC. Koukash, who is based in Liverpool, "had been in discussions to buy the troubled club for more than a month." Koukash said, "No other club in the sport has the potential of Salford City Reds, and I give a firm commitment to do all I can to help realize that potential." The takeover "comes after financial problems dogged the Reds" throughout the '12 season, with Revenue & Customs owed around £300,000 ($476,000), and ex-players Luke Patten and Vinnie Anderson due a combined total of £70,000 ($111,000) in unpaid wages. But Koukash, who has confirmed that all creditors will be paid in full, "will now take over at the side." The club had a winding-up petition issued against the takeover, which was adjourned until Monday (BBC, 1/31). In Manchester, Dean Wilkins reported the club "has been transferred" from long-standing Chair John Wilkinson, who has owned the club for 30 years. Koukash said, "It has been a difficult and sometimes very fraught process, and I can understand why some of our fans have been frustrated." It is rumored that Koukash "was made aware of the club’s situation" by Rugby Football League CEO Nigel Wood, who was on the same flight to Dubai, UAE as him. The new owner "has pledged to give spending power to coach Phil Veivers in order to turn around the club’s fortunes" (MANCUNIAN MATTERS, 1/31). Also in Manchester, Neil Barker reported Koukash intends to lead from the front and assures Reds' fans that "he is in it for the long haul and not for his own personal gain." Koukash said, "I am realistic, but I am also ambitious. I like to win." Koukash revealed that Wood "played a significant and influential role in helping rescue the Reds." It was Wood who brought Koukash to the negotiating table around Christmas time. Koukash said, "Nigel has definitely been a major player in all of this. He has been very honest with me from the very start" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 1/31).