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Paul Harragon and Matt Gidley

Planning meetings and broad discussions between the Newcastle Knights and NRL continued on Thursday, which have been happening for some weeks and will continue for some months.

Representatives from the Knights, the NRL as well as advisor John Quayle attended the meeting. Current Chairman Paul Harragon was an apology as he is currently on leave.

“Since the change in ownership, we have focused on two main areas,” CEO Matt Gidley said after Thursday’s meeting.

“The first is to ensure the Club has a strong financial foundation and a robust outlook and secondly, with the assistance of the NRL, we are wasting no time in working on our strategy to carry the Club forward.

“We want to re-build this Club with the right foundations, with the right values and for the right reasons.”

The Club won’t be rushed into making important decisions however in the short term Knights Members and fans can expect the appointment of a high quality Board and the development of a business plan to ensure long-term financial sustainability.

A major talking point externally about Thursday’s meeting centered around the future of coach Wayne Bennett.

“Thursday’s meeting included discussions with Wayne about his future at the Club, however we never expected an immediate outcome,” Gidley added.

“Wayne understands and appreciates what is important to the Club and we will look to have his position finalised within the next month.”

While planning for the future, the Club is also focussed on getting back on track in season 2014.

“We certainly haven’t given up on this season,” Gidley admitted.

“We are hopeful that the team that finished fourth last year will deliver great on-field results for the remainder of the year.”