Nathan Tinkler will be asked to hand back the Knights

The most important meeting in the 24-year history of the Knights will take place at the offices of Bilbie Dan solicitors, the workplace of Knights Members Club chairman Nicholas Dan, on Monday.

Given the Australian Tax Office has commenced wind-up proceedings against Tinkler for a $2.7 million debt, and the NSW Government is suing him for $600,000 in unpaid rent on Hunter Stadium, the Knights Members Club board has been presented with little alternative.

For the sake of the Knights brand and the future of the club, the irrefutable damage about bills being constantly paid late must end here.

It is understood Tinkler will be asked to part ways with his $20 million bank guarantee and allow the Members Club board to take over the licence and the day-to-day running of the NRL club immediately.

Knights Members Club board chairman Dan was guarded when asked about the proposition, saying: "Our top priority is to keep the club going at its best, so we will be discussing all options.

"Owners come and go, players come and go but the club must always come first.

"Our number one prerogative will be to ensure the club will always have a presence in the NRL for our loyal supporters to follow.

"We owe it to the community to explore all options."

Behind the scenes, ex-Newcastle players in the Knights Old Boys club and other Novocastrian powerbrokers have been privately preparing for Tinkler's empire to implode for months.

It has been revealed ex-CEO Steve Burraston and ex-chairman Rob Tew - the white knight who was staunch on the terms of Tinkler's $20 million bank guarantee - have both been approached about an immediate return.

Under the terms of Tinkler's 10-year $100 million takeover, the white whale promised to bring in $10 million in sponsorship a season, stump up a $20 million bank guarantee and tip $2.5 million a year into junior development in the Hunter region.

Failure to deliver on any one of those safeguards is technically a breach of Tinkler and HSG's privatisation contract, meaning the Knights Members Club board can trigger an option to buy back the club for $1 and start drawing on the bank guarantee.

Tinkler also agreed to allow independent auditors to put a fine-tooth comb through the Knights' books every 12 months, with a detailed report to be handed over to the Members Club by December 15 every year.

That date passed this weekend but the auditors - Crosby, Warren and Sinclair - only began to examine the Knights books last Tuesday.

Another round of crisis talks last week bought HSG an extension on the audit date until January 21 and the $20 million bank guarantee was supposedly pushed out to January 31.

But given the ATO commenced wind-up proceedings last Thursday, all previous bets may now be called off by the Knights Members Club.

There is also growing concern in Newcastle about the way HSG does business, with bills repeatedly paid late. The Newcastle Rugby League club is reportedly owed $300,000, which is a breach of Tinkler's privatistaion contract if it remains unpaid.

Online forums were lit up on Saturday with Knights members urging Tinkler to cut his losses and hand back control of the club







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