In January 2013, Dr. Marwan Koukash - a Kuwaiti-born businessman and racehorse owner - took the reins of the economically-precarious Salford City Reds. Financial problems had dogged the Lancashire club throughout the 2012 season, with Revenue & Customs allegedly owed £300,000 and due a combined total of £70,000 in unpaid wages. With Koukash at the helm however, the club was secure, and the new owner went about rebuilding the team, bringing in no less than 14 signings for the 2014 season. But, in his five years as chairman, the colourful character has often been at the centre of a number of controversial and well-publicised incidents and events.

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Here are his best five.

5. 'British Bulldogs'

At the beginning of 2015, Koukash launched a rather far-fetched idea that a 'British Bulldogs' side could compete in the NRL. The Doctor stated that the British side could participate in an expanded NRL competition from 2018, playing home games around England and at a halfway house in Dubai. Since he first ventured into Rugby League, Koukash had been determined to find a route into the NRL, and, after trying to buy a club Down Under in 2014, he proposed this slightly outlandish idea to finally make it happen. Unfortunately for him, few others shared his view that the idea could work and the plan soon fell by the wayside.

4. A marquee player and salary cap increase

In June 2015, Super League clubs voted to bring in the marquee player rule from the 2016 season.

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The proposal had, in fact, been rejected twice before it was approved. The marquee player rule was a historic moment for the sport, attempting to stop Rugby League's best talent going to the rival code or even Down Under to the NRL. The rule meant that any player in the world could join a top flight club, whose value under the salary cap would be £100,000 if club trained, or £175,000 if non club-trained. In his first year at the club, Koukash had been determined to introduce a marquee player rule after attempting - as far-fetched as it might seem - to bring Sonny Bill Williams and Billy Slater to Lancashire. And, his perseverance had finally paid off.

Koukash's determination to bridge the gap between the British and Australian game didn't stop there; in April 2017, the Dr was a key figure in the campaign to increase the salary cap from £1.825 million to £2.1 million by 2020 as well as the inclusion of another marquee player and exemptions for new and returning players. For a man that always made the headlines, his love of the game was unerring and his repeated attempts to revolutionise the sport since his takeover in early 2013 proves this.

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3. Sam Burgess to Salford

In February 2014, Rugby League supporters believed Koukash had lost his mind when he made one of the biggest statements in the sport's history: "I will bring Sam Burgess back to Rugby League". This well-publicised outburst was made after the Dr had attempted to coax Burgess to join the Lancashire club after leaving South Sydney Rabbitohs. It was, however, well documented that Burgess was heading to Rugby Union side Bath.

For two years Koukash continued his pursuit of the Bradford-born forward, apparently "monitoring" Burgess throughout the summer of 2015 as the latter attracted a barrage of unwarranted criticism over his England RU World Cup performances. But, was Burgess ever likely to choose Salford over a return to South Sydney? Maybe Koukash had good intentions to build a world-class side, maybe he did it for publicity reasons, but, the utopian dream of Burgess donning a Salford shirt finally ended in November 2015 as Burgess resigned with the Australian club.

2. £1million bid for Sam Tomkins

In January 2014, Koukash announced that he had bid £1million, yes a million pounds, for Sam Tomkins. The Wigan full-back, however, was set on joining NRL side New Zealand Warriors, who paid £700,000 for the No.1. As ambition goes, this was a move bordering on craziness and was yet another example of the racehorse owner trying to splash his clash to build quite an extraordinary Salford side.

1. War with the RFL

Throughout his time as owner, Koukash spoke often about how the RFL had got it in for him ever since he took ownership of the club. And, in summer 2016 the rivalry came to a real head as the Red Devils - rebranded from the City Reds by Koukash - were issued with a six-point deduction for alleged salary cap breaches in 2014 and 2015. This very nearly relegated Salford, instead, the Lancashire side scraped through the Million-Pound Game in extra time. But, it was a deduction which Koukash responded to with words and actions never seen before from a top flight owner.

"If the RFL starts deducting points from us, I'll press the red button and go for all-out war" was a phrase passionately spoken by the Kuwait-born businessman. Rather than being a phrase coming from a Rugby League club owner, it sounded more like the current leader of the free world. He went on to add that even if Salford lost the tribunal, that he would take matters further. "If necessary, I will go to the highest court in the land." Well, despite all the Dr's fiery rhetoric, the points deduction was upheld and he took it no further.

End of an era

A truly remarkable person, Koukash has undergone something of a transformation since he first came into the sport in 2013; his opening brash manner took everyone by surprise, but, by 2017, the man had built up a reputation for himself as a loveable character and one which was prepared to fight tooth-and-nail for the things he believed in. And, what is certain is that Salford are now in a distinctly better place, both on and off the field, than when Koukash first took over. It is the end of an era, but one which lives in everyone's memory. #RugbyLeague #RL #SalfordRedDevils