Sport

NRL backs Newcastle Knights

Mining magnate Nathan Tinkler (left) and former Knights player Paul Harragon.
Mining magnate Nathan Tinkler (left) and former Knights player Paul Harragon. Cameron Spencer - Getty Images

THE Storm clouds continue to gather over Newcastle Knights and owner Nathan Tinkler after the Tax office moved to have the club wound up yesterday.

Federal Court documents filed in Sydney on Wednesday showed the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation had applied to have the Newcastle Knights, Newcastle Jets soccer club and the parent company, Hunter Sports Group, wound up over unpaid debts totalling almost $2.7 million.

The tax office is claiming Hunter Sports Group owes $184,257, the Newcastle Knights owe $1.424 million and the Jets $1.063 million.

A spokesman for the under-seige mining magnate said the Tax Office move had taken the Group by surprise, but added the debt would be paid.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant said he was confident the club's short-term future was secure given Tinkler had to lodge a $20 million bank guarantee when he bought the Knights last year.

"I think the Deputy Tax Commissioner would go for everything he possibly could ... we understand that," Grant said.

"But from our point of view, the agreement that was struck with the Knights has a bank guarantee to support it.

"We're standing behind the players ... our obligation is directly to the players - we demonstrated that during the Titans situation.

"The (Newcastle) club has got great membership, a great team, a dedicated local area for footy ... it will emerge out of whatever happens."

The NRL demonstrated that concern for the players later in the day when it informed Hunter Sports Group the league's next club grant payment due later this month (worth $583,333), must go toward player superannuation payments before being used for anything else.

Interim CEO Shane Mattiske said it was important that we, "ensure all commitments are met to players and staff, and we are simply ensuring through the payment of the grant that these are a priority."

News of the Knights' problems overshadowed yesterday's ongoing salary cap discussions.

But Grant said he still held hope his Christmas stocking would include an agreement covering player payments for the next five years.

Players and NRL representatives have been locked in talks to try to agree on a new salary cap to start next season, with speculation the present $5 million limit would be increased to $5.8 million, and increased by a much lesser amount for each of the following four years.

"The view of our group and the players' group is we're headed in the right direction," Grant said.

"It (an agreement) would be a great Christmas present. To get it off our agenda before Christmas would be good for everyone."

Topics:  debt, nathan tinkler, newcastle knights, nrl, rugby league



Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Gold Coast Airport testing for contamination

Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer Marion Charlton.

Gold Coast Airport investigating historic chemical use

Shark hunter warns next shark attack "three weeks away"

"Within another three weeks, [they'll] be munching on surfers"

Tweed woman to face court after horse death

Police have charged a woman after her car crashed into a horse float at Kirra.

Woman charged after crashing into horse float

Latest deals and offers

Shark Hunter warns of Attack

Shark hunter Joel merchant hooks a Tiger shark.

Joel Merchant says more sharks on the way as temperature drops.

Beyonce is better than Beethoven according to your dog

Sony research shows that dogs prefer Top 40 over classical.

Research commissioned by Sony shows that dogs like Top 40 more than classical.

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest