Australian Rugby League has been plunged into a financial drama, after it emerged that NRL club Newcastle Knights had failed to pay some its players and staff this month.
The Knights – which are owned by Nathan Tinkler and his Hunter Sports Group – have failed to pay at least 20 staff and players on their books on Friday, and the NRL have indicated that they will step in and protect the players and staff of the game, as NRL CEO Dave Smith said in a statement issued to the media.
“The NRL will take whatever action is necessary to protect the Knights, the game and, most importantly, the players and staff as a result of these actions,” Smith said.
NRL head of club services Tony Crawford said: “The actions of the Tinkler-controlled Knights towards players and staff are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“The NRL has demanded that the situation is rectified immediately because there is no place in our game for this kind of behaviour.
“The NRL will be assessing all options to bring this to a resolution in the interests of the Knights, staff, our fans and the broader rugby league community.”