Wests’ letter to 120,000 members on Knights deal:
The Wests Group and the National Rugby League (NRL) believe a successful future for the Knights Rugby League Pty Limited (KRL) and its junior pathways can only be guaranteed under the stewardship of the The Wests Group. The NRL has put the future of the game in our region at the forefront of all its discussions with The Wests Group.
To ensure both the future of KRL in our region and the development of rugby league in our region, the board of The Wests Group recommends to members that they support the following resolution.
“That The Wests Group acquires 100% of the share capital of the Knights Rugby League Pty Ltd on the basis that there is no licence fee payable nor any outstanding debt owing to the National Ruby League.”
Information for Members* In order to develop and promote the game of rugby league at all levels and provide a sporting heart for the region within the stadium precinct, The Wests Group is committing to the development of a sporting centre of excellence that will become the home of the Knights. The Wests Group is committing to matching finding from the State Government up to a maximum of $10 million. The ownership of the Centre of Excellence will sit within the KRL as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Wests Group, if members support the above resolution.
– The Wests Group will acquire 100% of the KRL on November 1, 2017, on the basis of no licence fee and no outstanding debts to the National Rugby League.A transition strategy will be put in place from the date of members’ approval until November 1, 2017,to assure both continuity of operations and the best chance of success for 2018.
– The NRL grant to clubs over the next five years, commencing in 2018, will average $13 million per annum. The previously grant averaged $7.6 million per annum. This represents an increase of more than $5 million per annum over the five years. This provides an opportunity for the operation of the Knights to break even over this period.
– The Wests Group will continue to foster and promote rugby league in the region, in accordance with its constitution, ensuring the development and retention of local juniors as well as grass roots participation. This commitment will be to a minimum of $500,000 per annum for five years.The Knights will be in the best position in its history to develop local juniors and to compete for talent across the code. This will result in improved on-field performance.
– The development of the Centre of Excellence will not only give the Knights a state of the art home, it will also be a catalyst for future development for the stadium precinct becoming the sporting heart of the community, with multi-sport and community applications.
– The acquisition of the KRL will not impact on the current overall level of support The Wests Group provides to the community by way of donations or sponsorship.
FLYING THE FLAG: The board of The Wests Group has recommended members support a resolution to acquire 100% of the Knights Rugby League Pty Ltd, from November 1.
– In conclusion, before acquiring KRL, the finalisation of the transaction is subject to legal due diligence to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place regarding any contingent liabilities.
The Board is seeking your support to secure the future of rugby league in Newcastle and the Hunter region.
To support this resolution, the members need to attend any of The Wests Group clubs from July 31 to August 6 and vote Yes to support this recommendation.
By order of the board, Philip GardnerCompany secretary (and Wests CEO)