The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS STATEMENT:
As a result of the ongoing uncertainty around the ownership of the Newcastle Knights, wages for a number of employees failed to be paid on time this month.
The NRL, who are aware of the matter, the Hunter Sports Group and the Members Club continue to confidentially negotiate the ownership model for the Club going forward.
"It has been a difficult time for all involved and we hope we can reach a resolution regarding the ownership of the Club as soon as possible," Knights CEO Matt Gidley said.
HUNTER SPORTS GROUP STATEMENT:
The Hunter Sports Group (HSG) advised the National Rugby League (NRL) they would not invest further funds into the Newcastle Knights until the current ownership dispute with the Members Club was resolved, which included employee wages.
"We have been negotiating with the NRL and the Members Club for eight weeks and would have hoped the issue would have been resolved by now," HSG CEO Troy Palmer said.
"We made it clear the HSG would not invest further funds until the matter was resolved however it was important Knights employees weren't affected during this process.
"We requested short term assistance from the NRL for the outstanding wages however this wasn't forthcoming.
"HSG will ensure any outstanding wages are paid next week and hope the ownership dispute can be resolved immediately so the Club can be adequately funded again."