NRL: Tinkler offers Knights revised offer

The new deal would guarantee the Knights $10 million per year over a ten-year period. Photo / Getty Images
The new deal would guarantee the Knights $10 million per year over a ten-year period. Photo / Getty Images

Knights members are set for a showdown at the end of March to decide the future of their club.

At an information meeting for members in Newcastle on Monday night, it was revealed by chairman Rob Tew that a revised offer from the Tinkler Sports Group (TSG) to privatise the club had been delivered to the club's lawyers for review.

The new deal would guarantee the club $10 million per year over a ten-year period, with further commitments being given in key areas such as junior development.

CEO Steve Burraston said the board would review the revised deal at a meeting this Wednesday with a view to calling an extraordinary general meeting to allow members to vote on the proposal.

"We haven't got the final document at this stage, we understand that that could be at our lawyer's offices at the moment but it probably won't be until tomorrow before myself and the board can go through the final documentation," Burraston said.

"We've received other information to suggest that all our concerns have been addressed in those documents. We need to get the documents now, go through those and ensure that is the case.

"Regardless, we'll be taking the document in its form to the members in the last week of March, hopefully by the 30th."

Negotiations between the Knights and TSG were rekindled last week when former board member Mark Fitzgibbon stepped in as mediator.

Prior to the truce, both parties had ruled out the possibility of a deal being struck after TSG withdrew its previous offer on February 21.

Burraston stressed that the revised offer put forward by TSG on Monday afternoon needed to be examined closely by members before heading to the ballot box.

"We need time to review it, I think, to make a true assessment on what's in that document," he said.

"The thing that we have to understand is that there's a lot of passionate people here on both sides of the fence and those people need to be able to receive the information."

"It won't be a board decision, it won't be my decision, it'll be a decision for the members."

Varied views were expressed by the 600 members on hand at the information meeting, and with a 75 per cent member majority needed to confirm the move to privatisation, Burraston believes the future of the club is hanging in the balance.

"I don't think you could say either way," he said of the impending outcome.

"We do have about 3000 people who are eligible to vote and there was nowhere near that number here tonight."

"So on the sample that was here I think there was people who were passionate on both sides of the fence and I wouldn't like to speculate on which way people will vote."


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