Home > News, Rugby League News > Tinkler bid given the go ahead by Knights board

Tinkler bid given the go ahead by Knights board

An audacious bid by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler to buy the Newcastle Knights has received in-principle support by the board of directors of the NRL club.

The board decided the bid, which is worth $100 million over ten years, was the right fit for the club, and it will be put to the Knights football club members on March 4th, with a 75% majority needed for the takeover to happen. The bid has been rumoured for some time, with support for it shown publicly by some of Newcastle’s favourite sons such as Matthew and Andrew Johns, and former board member and premiership winning captain Paul Harragon.

The bid also received backing from NRL CEO David Gallop, who said it would make them ‘the envy of the rugby league world.’ It will see the Knights join six other NRL clubs as being privately owned, something which has also been pushed by Gallop.

In what is the largest, at least financially, of the ownerships, Tinkler has proposed to put $10 million a year into the club by way of sponsorship, significantly overtaking the high profile move by Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court which was at just $3 million.

Matt Considers: This is great news for not only the Knights, but for rugby league in general. With News Limited moving away from the game, the private ownership model is something which many clubs will look into, and is a much stabler way of securing the future of the game. This is particularly the case at the Knights who, despite big investment in a stadium upgrade, have seemingly been just petering along, not making a whole lot of progress either on or off the field.

This is also good news for the rumoured super-club in Newcastle, with Tinkler’s Newcastle Jets to be merged with the Knights to form one club, both based out of Energy Australia Stadium. I believe that this is a model which could work very well in one team areas around the country such as Newcastle, North Queensland and Gold Coast, with resources pooled and more efficiently used, as well as, in the greatest marketing speech possible, a community united under one flag, with one club followed by both football and rugby league fans.

Hopefully the Knights members pass this bid, and Newcastle can return to their heydays of the late 90s, early 2000s, with a great junior base and some big money recruits which they have lacked since the departure of Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus. The job Tinkler has done at the Jets has been very good, with lowered ticket prices to increase crowds, something which will hopefully be done wit the Knights, and garner great support for the club. A strong Newcastle will see a strong NRL!

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