Gateshead Thunder taken over by Newcastle Falcons

Gateshead Thunder have revealed that the club has new owners in the form of Newcastle Rugby Limited, the company that is owned by Newcastle Falcons Chairman Semore Kurdi.

It means that both Thunder and the Falcons, who play in the Aviva Premiership, will be under the same ownership.

“We will have the same owner as Newcastle Falcons, but it is not the Falcons taking us over,” confirmed Thunder chief executive Keith Christie.

“We are still Gateshead Thunder and still playing at Gateshead International Stadium. But we now have the resources to develop the squad, to bring in some experience and finish the season on a high.

“It is very much a blank canvas, and we can mould ourselves into an outfit that will compete with the Super League or the top end of the Championship. After all the beatings and finger pointing at the club, at last we have turned a corner.”

The deal means that the current board will operate under the new ownership, with Christie confirming that the club’s relationship with Hull Kingston Rovers will continue.

“We have been very grateful to the guys at Rovers. They have invested time and money in us and if we can get promoted it will support them in that their [dual-registered] players will play in a higher competition.

“We will link up with the Falcons predominately off-field in terms of suppliers. But in playing terms, I think both games have specialist skills and I don’t think that a lot are transferable.

“We now have 21 clubs playing Rugby League in the area, and this means that we can be the cherry at the top playing Super League and representing the northeast as we would want to.”

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