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SBD Global/December 17, 2012/Finance
NRL's Newcastle Knights Members Club Board Asks Owner To Step Down
Published December 17, 2012
TOO INVESTED: In Sydney, Brett Keeble reported Hunter Sports Group CEO Troy Palmer, Tinkler's right-hand man, said that Tinkler had "invested too much into the Knights and the A-League's Jets to consider handing back the NRL licence to the members club." Palmer said that Tinkler was "in much better financial shape than reported" and that a A$3.19M tax bill would be paid to the Australian Taxation Office in the next ''seven to 10 days.'' Palmer added that all of HSG's creditors "would be paid and that an audit report into the Knights' financial operations would reveal HSG met all requirements." Palmer: ''We're not going anywhere. We haven't done all this work and made this investment in Newcastle and brought a lot of good people to this town to walk away. We're 100% committed to this" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 12/17).
A KEEN PERSPECTIVE: Also in Sydney, McDonald & Kogoy reported Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett "warned the club's supporters against getting caught up in the anti-Tinkler fervour sweeping the Hunter region over the coal baron's financial problems." Bennett reminded the Tinkler critics to "take a deep breath." Bennett: "Remember some of the people that ran the club in the past didn't have a great amount of success either. I'm just not sure where they're coming from on this issue. If you look at the last 18 months and compare what we have to what we did have, there is no comparison. And that includes whether you are talking memberships, sponsorships, and playing staff. That's all because of Nathan's input" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/17). In Sydney, Chris Roots opined "Tinkler does things his own way." It is "neither patient nor friendly." He has "more enemies than friends in racing." However, it is "difficult not to have a little bit of compassion for him following the sale of All Too Hard." This was "the horse he wanted and needed to make his Patinack Farm empire flourish." Before feeling too sorry for Tinkler, "think of the men and women within the industry he has discarded." Anything he has achieved "has to be tempered by the stories of vets, farriers, feed merchants and others who have not been paid" (SMH, 12/17).