The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Hunter Sports Group (HSG) remains totally committed to completing the acquisition of the Newcastle Knights within the shortest possible timeframe, which is expected to occur by the 10th August.
On the 20th May, HSG formally requested a final completion date of the 10th August, as there were many loose ends that had to be correctly tied up.
It was the Knights who demanded a 30th June completion, which HSG have tried to work towards. Due to the complexities of the deal and the other issues that the Club has been facing, HSG have not been able to achieve the target date set by the Knights.
There are still a number of contracts and agreements outstanding which need to be transferred to the new entity. Some of these outstanding agreements and contracts are the responsibility of the Knights to complete, not HSG. There is still work to be performed by both parties to complete this deal.
While HSG will meet the Club's liabilities under the terms of their agreement, it has become apparent that the level of liabilities outstanding is significantly higher than HSG were advised three months ago.
These liabilities include a large tax liability. This amount is significantly more than the amount initially advised to HSG in March 2011.
Contrary to comments publicly made by the Board in early 2011 that the Knights' 2010 results would show a "small profit", the Club's published Annual Report for 2010 in fact showed a loss in excess of $1.6 million.
Currently HSG is attempting to ascertain the true financial position of the Club.
HSG is disappointed that the Knights' Board has chosen to discuss publicly the delay in completing the transaction, especially without providing the full information about the financial position and liabilities faced by the Club.
HSG confirms the bank guarantee will be put in place, meet all of its obligations and continue to work with the Knights Board to complete the transaction as soon as possible.
HSG appreciate the difficult position the Knights Directors have placed themselves in and will provide substantial funding in advance of completion to ensure the Knights meet their financial obligations, including payment of the outstanding tax liability.
Since the members vote HSG has delivered for the Knights:
- Wayne Bennett as coach for the next 4 years
- Internationals including Darius Boyd, Kade Snowden, Timana Tahu and Kurt Gidley signed to long term deals
- Membership has increased by over 100% to in excess of 15,000 members
- Crowds are now averaging above 18,000 per game
- The Knights are currently sitting 6th on the ladder and play 6 out of the remaining 10 games at home