Tinkler commitment to Knights and Jets ''unwavering''

THE Knights and Jets said yesterday owner Nathan Tinkler remained unwavering in his commitment to Newcastle’s rugby league and soccer teams despite his attempts to sell his horse-racing empire.

The Newcastle Herald reported yesterday that Tinkler tried to raise $200million in June by selling his Hunter Valley-based Patinack Farm racing and breeding operation to Qatari royal Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, the owner of last year’s Melbourne Cup winner, Dunaden.

Tinkler spokesman Tim Allerton issued the following statement yesterday on behalf of Knights chief executive Matt Gidley and Jets counterpart Robbie Middleby: ‘‘Following media reports today about Patinack Farm’s sale of horses as part of its thoroughbred breeding program, there has been some enquiries about potential implications for the Newcastle Knights and Newcastle Jets,’’ the statement said.

‘‘This decision to sell the horses has no impact on either club and Nathan Tinkler’s commitment to both is unwavering.

‘‘The Tinkler Group acquired both clubs that were in financial crises, extinguished their existing, heavy debt levels and invested considerable funds in them to continue operations and succeed.

‘‘That program remains in place, as is Mr Tinkler’s commitment to the Hunter region, to ensure we have two strong football clubs of which the entire Hunter region can be proud.’’

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