Nathan Tinkler’s sports company has rejected claims the prospective Newcastle Knights owner made a $2 million offer to Kade Snowden that led to the NSW Origin prop reneging on a deal to stay at the Sharks.
Tinkler Sports Group chairman Ken Edwards and Knights chief executive Steve Burraston both moved quickly to deny any approach from their organisations to Snowden after the 24-year-old Newcastle junior yesterday failed to front a news conference called to announce his re-signing with Cronulla.
There are allegations that Tinkler had personally contacted Snowden less than an hour before the scheduled 2.30pm conference to significantly trump the Sharks deal.
It is understood the deal that Snowden had agreed to on Wednesday night was worth about $300,000 a season for two years, whereas the alleged Tinkler offer was supposedly valued at between $400,000 to $500,000 a season over four years.
Tinkler is in negotiations to buy the Knights and details of an offer are being finalised before he and the Newcastle board take the deal to club members to vote on, which is expected to happen sometime next month after the competition starts on March 11.
The mining magnate has been linked with an approach to master coach Wayne Bennett and Snowden is said to be his favourite player.
Sharks officials remain hopeful of re-signing Snowden and issued a statement last night in an attempt to clarify the bizarre events that followed the club’s earlier press release that quoted the Blues representative saying he would be staying put for a further two years.