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HSG due to deliver audit on time

THE Newcastle Knights members club has been assured that Hunter Sports Group will deliver on time its annual independent audit, confirming all terms and conditions of Nathan Tinkler’s 2011 takeover are being honoured.
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The audited statement, conducted by Crosbie Warren Sinclair, is due to be completed by January 15.

The members club then has until January 27 to rubber-stamp it or raise objections.

The yearly audit was a stipulation before Tinkler was allowed to buy the Knights, to ensure that certain key commitments were being upheld.

These included providing $10million worth of sponsorship, sufficient working capital for day-to-day football and administrative operations, $2.5million for junior development, and $300,000 to the Newcastle Rugby League.

HSG is also required to have in place a $10.3million bank guarantee by January 21, plus a CPI-adjusted increase.

The audit issue sparked controversy 12 months ago when HSG asked for, and received, an extension from the original due date of December 15, 2012, to January 21, 2013.

Knights officials said the change was necessary so the audit could incorporate the full calendar year.

But given that the deferral coincided with the Australian Taxation Office filing documents in the Federal Court to liquidate eight companies linked to Tinkler, including the Knights, Newcastle Jets and HSG, over $3.19million in unpaid taxes, not surprisingly there was widespread concern.

Eventually the tax debts were settled and the members club were satisfied that the audit complied.

Members club chairman Nick Dan said yesterday that he recently discussed this year’s audit with Tinkler’s former legal adviser, Aimee Hyde, who assured him there would be no problems.

The Herald understands the Newcastle Rugby League was satisfied its funding component was met after it received a large deposit this week.

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