It could be crisis time at the Newcastle Knights, as the financially strained club fights to avoid being evicted from EnergyAustralia Stadium, with the landlord alleging they are in default of rent to the tune of $792,000.
As they approach their first game at home for 2009 the Knights today confirmed they owe the month and they only have until the end of the month to pay.
However, in a twist – Newcastle have flat out refused to pay the debts owes, saying the landloard – Hunter Venues apparently owe the club over $1 million for upkeep and reimbursement due to the Stadium Re-development.
Newcastle club chief executive Steve Burraston has blown the secrecy on the situation, feeling that the landlord; Hunter Venues had allegedly sent documents to the media regarding the situation.
Seeking to keep fans at ease, Burraston sent a video message to supporters and sponsors – confirming that things are OK and will remain ‘business as usual’ for the time being.
â€œWe are of a belief that Hunter Venues owes the Knights money and we’re of the understanding that we were still negotiating and would be for at least the next two months,” said Burraston.
The Knights boss again confirming his disappointment that the situation was being aired in public.
The situation surely would concern sponsors and fans alike, as the Knights were named recently as a club struggling financially. Many feeling that the economic crisis could lead to the collapse of some clubs, already feeling the pinch. As times toughen, the Central Coast Bears seem to be ramping up their appeals to join the National Rugby League – the natural attrition of a club could be the opening they need to get in earlier than 2012.