Sport Rugby League People power could come to Newcastle Knights’ rescue

People power could come to Newcastle Knights’ rescue

Keeping the faith: Knights supporters at the weekend.
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Nathan Tinkler will likely be forced to give up his troubled ownership of the Newcastle NRL club, according to Knights members club chairman Nick Dan.

Tinkler’s three-year ownership of Newcastle is under a cloud after he failed to pay the wages of several staff last week, reportedly including coach Wayne Bennett and star fullback Darius Boyd.

On Friday The NRL vowed to take action to protect the players and staff at the Knights.

Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group says the outstanding wages will be paid this week, but the millionaire’s hold on the club is becoming increasingly untenable.

Dan has called upon Hunter Sports Group to transfer the assets of the Knights, including the $10.5 million bank guarantee, to the members club with a view to setting up community ownership.

But he fears that will only happen through legal action.

“Very much so,” Dan told 2KY’s Big Sports Breakfast on Monday. “We have to (take legal action) now.

“The members club issued some notices a few weeks ago saying we want the assets to be transferred to the members club including the bank guarantee, and we haven’t had that done yet.

“It has got to a stage where if that doesn’t happen we will take whatever action necessary to make that happen.”

Dan said the situation was undoubtedly affecting Knights players and that the current crop of stars might have to make sacrifices for the future wellbeing of the club.

“I would think it would be at the back or the forefront of their minds at times and that is really unfortunate,” he said. “But unfortunately maybe everybody will have to take some short term pain for long term gain.”

Asked if Tinkler might come good and hand over the Knight’s NRL franchise without having the matter dragged through the courts, Dan said: “I don’t know. Nathan in his own man, he controls his own destiny and we have never been part of that.”

The Knights play Manly at Brookvale Oval in the final game of round 10 on Monday night.