Status quo ... Wayne Bennett and Troy Palmer on Monday night. Photo: Max Mason Hubers
KNIGHTS Members Club directors are confident Nathan Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group will repay all creditors and do a better job of funding Newcastle's NRL club.
Tinkler remains the owner of the Knights, and HSG will continue to run the city's team after members club directors met HSG chief executive Troy Palmer in Newcastle on Monday night to clear the air over a range of issues.
"I think we're all on the same page and looking forward to the upcoming season," Palmer said after the 90-minute meeting. "I think everyone agrees what a great job Nathan and the team has done and where the club has gone in a short period of time, and the members club are more than happy with that after they asked their questions today."
HSG must still satisfy requirements of the deed of sale signed on August 5 last year, but Palmer was certain an audit of the Knights' 2012 financial operations would show that.
The members club and HSG have agreed in principle to amend that document, pushing the audit reporting date from last Saturday to January 21, and the $20 million bank guarantee underpinning the agreement from December 31 to January 31.
According to the terms of that agreement, HSG must underwrite $10 million in sponsorship, provide sufficient working capital for Knights football and administrative operations, and agreed funding for the Newcastle Rugby League and junior development, but Palmer said all those requirements had been met.
Members club chairman Nick Dan said directors asked Palmer to do a better job of keeping the community informed about Tinkler's financial issues, and to pay their bills on time. "The status quo will continue. The members board respect the fact that the members voted for Nathan Tinkler to buy the club . . . and had a huge majority to do that," he said. "They're very happy with the way that he's funded the football operations.
"Troy said we know there's been some problems over the last few months, business has been a bit tough, but the community has seen what we've done over the last week to get capital back into the club and to make sure creditors are paid and that all our obligations are looked after, and the Knights members board certainly accepted that."
Dan said Knights coach Wayne Bennett suggested to members club directors that they should meet with HSG management more regularly.