Nathan Tinkler’s NRL dream could be over unless $10 million bank guarantee is paid

A deadline is looming for former billionaire Nathan Tinkler to pay a reported $10.52 million sum to his NRL club, Newcastle Knights.

A report inThe Australian Financial Review said if Tinkler fails to hand over the bank guarantee, he could lose control of the club. The fee is due on March 31, a two month extension on the original deadline.

Tinkler’s company Hunter Sports Group is the principal owner of the rugby league club. The bank guarantee was part of a deal Tinkler signed when he took over the club in 2011.

The Newcastle Knights released a statement today declaring the payment will be met.

“The bank guarantee is due for renewal on March 31, 2014, and will be in place by the due date,” the club said.

“This is an annual agreement, as part of the audit, between the Hunter Sports Group and the Members Club.”

The statement follows comments in the AFR by Knights Members chairman Nick Dan, who told the paper he wanted the bank guarantee details finalised ahead of the deadline, and that a backup strategy was in place to take over the team if the guarantee was not met.

“I would not think the Members Club would agree to another extension,” Dan told the AFR.

The AFR reports if Tinkler’s business cannot meet the deadline, Knights members could commence legal action to secure the money.

The news follows the collapse of Tinkler’s minerals asset Aston Metals in November last year, with voluntary administrators appointed. The minerals company was previously placed in receivership in September last year as secured creditors aggressively pursued unpaid debts.

Tinkler was formerly listed on the 2012 BRW Rich List at a value of around $915 million but failed to make the list in 2013. His fortune took a dive when he was forced to sell around $300 million of shares in Whitehaven Coal.

Both the Newcastle Knights and Tinkler were contacted this morning but both declined to comment further.

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