Balmain to approach British Billionaire



  • Balmain will consider approaching British billionaire Marwan Koukash for financial assistance in a bid to continue as an active partner in the Wests Tigers joint venture.

    Koukash has reiterated his desire to become an owner of an NRL club and has been linked to Newcastle. However, the governing body is wary of handing over control to private investors given the dramas at the Knights under Nathan Tinkler.

    While Koukash, who already owns Super League franchise Salford, prefers to become a sole owner of an NRL club, he has previously told Fairfax Media he would consider a shareholding arrangement.

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    That could make Balmain a viable option for the former Palestinian refugee given his desire to be involved in elite rugby league in Australia as soon as next season.

    Balmain directors will officially be removed from the Wests Tigers board this week and won’t have a say until they are able to settle their debts. It’s believed they will need to find almost $2 million immediately or face becoming a silent partner in the running of the Tigers. Should they not pay their way in the next 18 months, they face the prospect of their partnership being bought out.

    Most consider it an insurmountable financial obstacle, particularly while there is uncertainty about Balmain’s planned premises at Rozelle, but Koukash has the means to secure the foundation club’s future.

    Although it is understood that Balmain directors have not yet made contact with Koukash, it is an option that will be seriously considered.

    “Obviously Balmain is in a position now where we’ll be looking at options around how we can re-participate in the joint venture, however that might be,” said Balmain director Jim Myatt.

    This is not the first time Myatt has had to initiate a fighting fund. The Australian Power and Gas founder raised about $6 million for AFL club Richmond Tigers, mainly through supporter pledges.

    Balmain will launch a fighting fund at a gala event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1989 grand final at their Five Dock premises, but finding a generous benefactor or buyer remains Balmain’s best shot at survival.

    Koukash, whose net worth is estimated at $3 billion, claims he could buy an NRL club at a fraction of the cost it takes to operate the Reds.

    “I’m looking at three [NRL] clubs,” Koukash told PA.

    "There were two but in the last week or so another opportunity has arisen.

    “There are a lot of opportunities for me to get involved with a number of NRL clubs and the amount of investment that is needed is minute compared to what I’m putting in at Salford.”

    Koukash, a race horse owner likely to again provide runners for this year’s Melbourne Cup, has indicated he will move to Australia if he purchases an NRL club.

    “It has to be the right deal for me personally and for the club over there and it has to have the kind of partnership I would like between the NRL and Salford,” he said.

    "There will be sharing of players and coaching ideas and it will make my recruitment in the future a lot easier for Salford.

    “For example, one thing I could offer a player considering coming to Salford is a one-year’s development in the NRL and there might be players there who could benefit from coming over here.”

    Wests Tigers are at a critical point in their history, with three NRL-appointed directors now holding the balance of power in what has often been a divided boardroom. They have begun interviewing coaching candidates to replace Mick Potter and it is expected a recommendation could be put to the board by the end of the week. Jason Taylor, Anthony Griffin, David Kidwell, Nathan Brown, Matt Parish and John Cartwright are in the mix for the post.

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  • There is no way the Wests side of the JV will sell.I can’t see Koukash as a half partner. He is an all or nothing type of bloke.



  • @Eye Of Da Tiger:

    There is no way the Wests side of the JV will sell.I can’t see Koukash as a half partner. He is an all or nothing type of bloke.

    Exactly … If he were to bail out Balmain , all he would get would be a seat on the board . No way will Wests sell their half of the joint venture … It’s just a pipe dream IMO .

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  • We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. :sign:



  • @quintus:

    We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. :sign:

    No thanks. Had enough of all the fighting at the club. Time for piece and negotiation.



  • Would love to see this guy in charge at our club as a whole but can’t see Wests selling. Also, from what I’ve seen of the Balmain directors, they have no business aptitude what so ever. I have no doubt they would probably just want his money without being willing to part with anything.

    Really hoping the guy tries though and has a chat to both entities.



  • If Dr.Koukash does invest in Balmain it wouldn’t be to bad a scenario,they will be back in the JV as before the way it should be and the financial burden will be lightened on the Wests side of things,having said that the Balmain juniors will receive an injection of funding and as far as Wests go who knows what can be tabled as far as financing goes,money speaks all languages and if the right terms of agreement are drawn up,who knows.It won’t matter if we,stay as Wests Tigers,big businesses often exchange hands as well as expand to secure a profitable future…just my thoughts…

    As long as we remain Wests Tigers I really don’t care where the money comes from… :sign: 🙏



  • Good idea. He gets a low cost entry and seats on the board, buys out wests and flicks these other wannabes. Given that this lot is no longer a club but a football team business we immediately end all the internal crap we have been saddled with for years. The best form of government is a friendly dictatorship. Go for it Mr Koukash.



  • This has shit fight written all over it.



  • @Fraze23:

    This has shit fight written all over it.

    Yep , it’s gonna get ugly I think .

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  • I am referring to Balmain not to Western Suburbs or Wests Tigers…Wests Tigers are my team too…and Wests Ashfield are doing a great job …even more than was expected of them. I am one of the truly converted and love Wests Tigers just as much as i love Balmain but I don’t want Balmain to be written off as an identity. It’s very difficult to write off nearly sixty years as a Balmain supporter with the flick of a pen…



  • The Wests Reds?



  • Short and sweet Ink…don’t hold back…


  • Banned

    @OutbackJack:

    Good idea. He gets a low cost entry and seats on the board, buys out wests and flicks these other wannabes. Given that this lot is no longer a club but a football team business we immediately end all the internal crap we have been saddled with for years. The best form of government is a friendly dictatorship. Go for it Mr Koukash.

    Lol as your name suggests you have been in the sun far too long outback jack keep dreaming

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  • All this would not have occurred if somebody had not thought of the many future millions of dollars? to be made by closing Balmain Leagues Club and becoming involved with quick talking real estate investors The huge risk was taken and this is now the Balmain Club is selling itself to overseas billionaires.


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