Mining magnate Nathan Tinkler is poised to turn cash-strapped Newcastle Knights into one of the NRL’s richest clubs after making a $100 million take-it-or-leave-it offer to buy the Knights.
Tinkler has agreed to guarantee the NRL club a minimum of $10 million a year in sporsorship for the next 10 years, on top of paying out the Knights’ existing debt of nearly $3 million, in return for full ownership.
His offer will go before the Knights board on Wednesday night.
Given its magnitude, club directors will be under extreme pressure to call an extraordinary meeting of members to vote on the proposal.
Tinkler will walk away and concentrate on his other sporting interests in Newcastle, including his A-League football club Newcastle Jets, if the Knights reject this final offer.
The Knights currently generate around $7 million a year in sponsorship but have been struggling to stay afloat financially for virtually all of their 23 years in existence.
Under Tinkler’s proposal, they would be swimming in cash. At the very least, they would have an extra $3 million a year to spend under his ownership, even if the current sponsorship level was not maintained.