Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the mighty Salford Red Devils have defied the odds to make the 2019 Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford today.
It is a moment few Salford supporters would have dreamed off not too many years ago. With the club once again on the verge of folding, Salford were thrown a lifeline by Marwan Koukash.
Koukash injected some life back into the club, he made the club revert their name back to of Red Devils, he opened the purse strings and allowed those in charge of recruitment to buy pretty much anyone they liked. More importantly, he changed the culture of the club. No longer were the Red Devils just looking to survive, now they were looking to get in everyones faces, they were not going to take a backward step, and they were certainly not about to “respect” clubs who for years have acted like vultures and torn opposition clubs to shreds in an effort to share the Super League title between just four clubs since it started back in 1996.
Marwan Koukash was great for Salford, but unfortunately he got some bad advice. Much like Richard Branson back when he owned the London Broncos, Koukash put trust in people to make football decisions that were very, very poor. It led to Koukash pulling out of the club. While it was disappointing, there was no doubt he had kept the team alive. He had changed the culture. He had given the Red Devils a voice.
Today we see the results of that culture change. The Salford Red Devils find themselves in the Grand Final after an extraordinary second half of the season that saw them surge through the finals series. They take on one of the evil empires, one of the four pillars of the Grand Final, they take on St Helens.
St Helens have been here many times before. Make no mistake, they feel as though this Grand Final is already in the bag! St Helens supporters were celebrating when the Salford Red Devils made the Grand Final. An easier opponent to beat, that was their thinking.
So you are topic going for? Which team do you want to win? The one that just expects to win this game, or the team who have been desperate for a shred of success for a lifetime?
I’ll be cheering on the Salford Red Devils!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com