Nathan wants to Tinkle with the Knights

Nathan Tinkler has hit back at criticism from Knights’ Chairman Rob Tew, saying Tew is not capable of determining the true value of the Tinkler Group’s offer to buy the Newcastle club.

Tew and Newcastle Knights chief executive Steve Burraston told a packed media conference on last week that they will no longer be considering offers from the Tinkler Group after a second deal was withdrawn when the Knights board raised concerns over the details of the offer.

Tew had described the final offer from the Tinkler Group as a ‘pale imitation’ of the offer the club had originally thought they were getting.

‘What was initially touted as a $100 million guaranteed offer to buy the Knights has turned out to be a small fraction of that offer with no certainty for the club beyond two years and a host of other liability questions unanswered,’ Tew said on Monday.

‘It is a pale imitation of what we first touted in the media.

‘Quite simply we are not prepared to put the future of the Knights at risk on a ‘just trust us’ basis.’

Tew and Burraston said that when the Tinkler Group had first approached the Knights the deal had simply been summarised in a page-and-a-half document.

The full details of the deal had only been given to the Knights board midway through last week.

‘The document was given to us on Wednesday night and we were given two days tor respond, the board met on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and went through the document and the many concerns we detailed hadn’t been addressed, they weren’t met and the offer was withdrawn.

‘The first and overriding issue is that the offer is a significant departure from the $100-million dollar proposal and it is not for a 10-year period, it is only guaranteed for two.

‘Secondly, Tinkler Group can sell the Knights to another party – including another Tinkler entity, anytime from day one and that entity doesn’t have to honour any details agreed to by the original sale.

‘Thirdly, the Newcastle Knights have accepted responsibility for junior development in Rugby League in our Region for some 23 years. But the Tinkler Group removed the commitment.’

However, Tinkler responded to the claims with a statement released to the media on Monday evening.

‘We stand by the $10 million per year commitment in Sponsorship and Corporate Hospitality guaranteed over 10 years to the club as presented last month,’ the statement said.

‘There have been no material variations to the offer and it is now clear that Mr Tew did not understand the original offer.

‘As we presented to the board, the Tinkler Sports Group were prepared to underwrite the difference between the annual sponsorship of the Club each year and the $10 million.

‘Our offer and guarantee make no mention of membership or ticketing revenue.

‘It is indeed unfortunate Mr Tew has sought to misrepresent our offer again and indicates he is not interested or capable of determining the value of our proposed commitment.’

by Buford Balony

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