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Every fan. Every business. Everyone can be an owner of the Newcastle Knights

Help the Knights join the model powering some of the worlds greatest sporting clubs

Model structure and draft business plan

The end goal is to have the community, fans and friends own the Knights. To do this a plan has been developed for long term success using a similar model to that of the Green Bay Packers (NFL) and FC Barcelona. We have prepared some initial financial modelling and an overview of our suggested structure, which you can read here.

Stage 1

Prove our community’s passion for owning the Knights.

Firstly, we need a show of interest from you or your organisation in owning the Knights. You can do this NOW by submitting your details in the red panel below. Should we receive enough support and get this exciting opportunity off the ground, the community will be made aware that the opportunity to buy shares has become available. Shares, that is, in your very own NRL team. That’s right, you’ll be a genuine owner of the Knights. 

Of course, we want you to share the news as well! The more people who register their interest, the better chance we have of showing the NRL that we’re fair dinkum and genuine support for this model exists to then partner with them for the benefit of all involved. 

We’ll also be hosting community forums, business forums and formal polling throughout the region to ensure we have the substance and support behind our approach. 

To assist with resources and the demanding logistics of appropriately addressing the NRL criteria and achieve our end goal of community ownership – we will enlist the services of local professionals and skilled individuals and businesses in a range of fields. 

Stage 2

Raise sufficient capital by selling shares in the Knights.

Initially a trust account will be established to receive funds committed by all our supporters in the community. These are the funds used to buy shares in the Knights.

This money would not be used to purchase the license but would in fact establish (to the NRL’s satisfaction) that the team have both community support and can raise sufficient operating capital for the Knights for the foreseeable future beginning with the 2018 season.

Shares will be for sale for the modest sum of $500 per share and shareholding will be capped at 4% (i.e.: no individual or organisation can take a controlling share – this is for everyone to own).

Funds raised from the community share drive would be placed in reserve and used to benefit rugby league in this region and address any short-fall in the strategic plan. This may include improved facilities, strengthening community links e.g. business and schools, creating stronger pathways for our juniors and local Rugby League Associations and generally improving the overall fan experience.

What do The Facilitators do?

The facilitators (the local business people who want the Knights to be owned by the community) will oversee the establishment of the essential elements to make it happen. Things such as; a publicly owned non-profit entity, constitution, governance framework and Board elections.

A Board of Directors (elected by shareholders) is envisaged to control the incorporated entity which is in charge of the capital raised on behalf of owners.

Below or alongside the main Board (but answering to it) are the Knights Football Club Board in charge of the football club and its operations.

This structure adds a level of governance specific to managing shareholders capital and would make provision for the annual football club budget as well as any requirements to raise further capital.

The main board would require the football club to justify spending over and above general trading requirements.

It also provides a layer of governance which would consider independently further capital raising (specific to or ancillary to – the football club needs).

A five year strategic plan would be developed along with 12 month operational plans and budgets. 

It is anticipated the club will be at a break-even point within three years. Any profits made will be re-invested back into the club and the community. 

It is anticipated Stage 2 will require an 8–12 month timeframe and commence once Stage 1 has been completed to the NRL’s satisfaction.

Stage 3

Take responsibility for the future of our Knights through community ownership.

Upon completion of the capital raising we anticipate transitioning the Knights to community ownership in advance of the 2018 season. The transition period is estimated as 3–4 months upon completion of the revenue raising Stage 2.

It is anticipated the minimum capital necessary to future proof the Knights under Community ownership is $15 million. Approximately half of the capital raised is anticipated to be necessary to address current trading deficiencies and restructure the Knights operations for the first three years of operations.

Thereafter under sound management and utilising the proposed revised annual grant from the NRL, the Knights will trade at a level of long term viability.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity but more importantly for our region it takes responsibility for our Knights future.

As facilitators we believe this is the only region in Australia with the demographics, situation, economic firepower, parochialism and collective will to realise this ownership model and thereby protect our major national sporting franchise.

Would you be in favour of a community owned model of the Knights?

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