If you read this web site on a regular basis, you know what I think about the state of the Newcastle Knights. They are a glorified pub team. The place is run for the enjoyment of the players and who cares about things like professionalism or accountability.
In steps Nathan Tinkler, who is very rich, very well known in the area and who is looking to basically buy every professional sporting team in Newcastle.
He makes an offer to buy the Newcastle Knights, and it all looks like we’re heading to a happy ending….or maybe not.
Last week when Kade Snowden was about to re-sign with the Cronulla Sharks, he got a phone call from Nathan Tinkler who basically told him not to sign, to hold off, and when he gets control of the Knights he would sort him out a much bigger deal.
Snowden was waiting to walk out for the press conference at the Sharks and it all had to embarrassingly be called off. The Sharks looked bad, Snowden joined a list of players who have made a complete mess of their contract negotiations….it was a really bad look.
Since then its been found out that the Sharks Jeremy Smith received a similar phone calls before he joined the Sharks.
So Nathan Tinkler gives his final proposal to the Knights and they are meant to take that to the clubs members to vote on. However, some of the terms in the deal really don’t sit well with the Knights.
Of the guaranteed of $100,000,000 over ten years, that is just to make sure the Knights always hit the $10 million dollar mark every year. Basically, he is willing to make up the shortfall from sponsorship.
The Knights say though that he wants to include sponsorship, club memberships and so many other things in the deal that, conceivably, he could offer all that money, but not actually have to pay a cent because the Knights would be making that much money anyway!
Keep in mind that Newcastle, while not well off, own the rights to a Stadium that is coming to the end of a massive upgrade. That will generate them money. On top of that, the new television deal for the NRL will again generate them even more money.
In 10 years from now I’d suggest that an NRL club thats only working on a budget of $10 million dollars will be a wooden spooner every sign year!
So, the Knights were not happy with the deal Nathan Tinkler, and they were especially alarmed at the lack of support for junior football.
Immediately Nathan Tinkler withdrew his bid and contacted the local TV station in Newcastle to vent his disgust. How are the Knights now roll over for him! He has also gone on the attack in the Sydney media…..and he is coming off like a complete and utter arsehole!
I can only imagine the horror within the NRL when they realized a bloke who doesn’t yet own a side is looking to go outside the conventional channels in regards to signing up players. After the Melbourne Storm fiasco….that is the very last thing the NRL needs, a big headed, egotistical owner who does what he likes, when he likes, how he likes, and stuff the rules!
This who saga made me think of when Russell Crowe was buying the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Crowe faught for a long time to keep South Sydney in the NRL before they were kicked out. He faught long and hard to get them back into the competition.
Then, he decided he wanted to take a bigger stake in the Rabbitohs…
Just to get to a point where members could vote on his proposal, Crowe have to fight his arse off, unrelentingly, against a very bitter South Sydney management at the time. Even to this very day, his purchase of the Rabbitohs makes him a target for newspapers!
He is unwavering.
Crowe’s passion for the Rabbitohs, a team who was a shell of what the Knights currently are, meant that he put the hard yards in to eventually buy the club he loved when growing up. A long process, a process that ten years on still see’s him working hard to even get the Rabbitohs into the finals.
Meanwhile, when Nathan Tinkler can’t buy the Newcastle Knights on a whim, purchasing them as easily as you would a can of soft drink at the shops, he goes into a public fit of rage, he takes his bat and his ball, and he goes home.
Ive got to say, I completely agree with the Newcastle Knights management on this one.
You don’t just buy a football club, its a long process where the management of the time needs to make sure their legacy was to protect the integrity of the club, while at the same time ensuring the clubs financial stability well into the future.
If I was a Knights fan, my opinion would be that Nathan Tinkler can fuck off. The club is more than just the play thing for an arrogant rich man used to getting his way.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com