Super League rugby side Salford Red Devils Chair Marwan Koukash "is prepared to pay cash up front" in an attempt to fulfill his ambition of purchasing a National Rugby League team before next year's kickoff, according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Koukash already owns the Salford Red Devils, saving the club from financial ruin, "and has now turned his attention to an Australian club." While the British billionaire would not divulge the "two or three clubs" he is in discussions with, Newcastle is believed to be among them. Koukash said that "he would be prepared to provide a bank guarantee" to allay concerns he would not be around for the long term. Koukash said, "I've been working on two or three fronts. Obviously not everything is in my hands, it's in the hands of other people as well. I'm just trying to see if something can be finalized at the start of next season" (SMH, 8/26).
One of the key figures in former A-League franchise North Queensland Fury "believes the club can be successfully resurrected," according to Ray Gatt of THE AUSTRALIAN. However, Queensland Local Government Minister David Crisafulli "has expressed concern that the poor crowd for last Sunday's opening day of the Townsville Football Cup could hurt any chance the club has of being reconsidered when Football Federation Australia looks to expand the A-League after 2017." Despite "heavy advertising and marketing," only 1,400 people attended. The tournament "is being used as a means to gauge a possible Fury A-League reincarnation," but the response left disappointed organizers "bewildered and hoping for crowd figures to improve markedly on the final two days tonight and on Saturday night." Northern Fury Chair Rabieh Krayem, who was the CEO when the club was "unceremoniously dumped" by FFA from the A-League in '11 because of financial issues, "is leading the charge for the Townsville entity to get back into the big time by 2019." Krayem and Crisafulli "believe they have a good case to be part of the expansion." Crisafulli: "I think it is ticking all the grassroots boxes, but we are missing one ingredient ... can we generate the public interest at a time when all sports are struggling to do so?" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/27).
A "mystery benefactor" has donated A$1.5M ($1.4M) worth of memorabilia to Australian Football League side Collingwood -- "a collection that includes the Brownlow Medal the late Len Thompson sold for his children's sake," according to Jake Niall of THE AGE. The benefactor "has given Collingwood what the Magpies say is the most extensive private collection of its type they have seen." Collingwood "is hoping to eventually have the Collingwood-specific donated items form part of a museum-like display at the club." Collingwood Dir of Operations David Emerson said that the donor "wanted the donation to support the charitable Collingwood Foundation and its Magpie Nest program for homelessness." Emerson said, "That's his motivation. It's an extraordinary gesture" (THE AGE, 8/26).
Officials announced that the new professional football club set to join South Korea's second division next year "will be named Seoul Eland FC," according to YONHAP. Eland, a local conglomerate with affiliates in retail, apparel and food service, last week "received the green light" from the K-League to found a new team for '15. The team "will be based in the nation's capital and will start in the second-tier competition," the K-League Challenge. Eland said that "the name Seoul Eland FC was selected as the winner of the naming contest." Eland "will use the Jamsil Olympic Stadium in southern Seoul as its home base," and will join FC Seoul of the top-flight K-League in the capital city (YONHAP, 8/26).