CEO Philip Gardner’s message to members and fans

Dear Newcastle Knights members and fans,

You deserve answers.

Nathan Brown tendered his resignation after telling the coaching staff and a select group of players first that he was going to resign.

Suggestions of sabotage from the front office while finals were at stake is ludicrous.

The information economy and transfer of favours that exists in rugby league is concerning and something beyond control.

As a result, many unfounded and wildly inaccurate claims have been made.

One of those claims has been made about me and the Ponga family regarding his management.

Not only are they wildly inaccurate but they are unfair on Kalyn Ponga and his father, Andre.

Figures being bandied around in respect to a contract extension are also erroneous.

I’m firmly of the belief that Kalyn will stay in Newcastle for less money than anywhere else, as long as we have a competitive roster.

Mitchell Pearce’s leadership has also come into question.

I must stress, Mitchell is not responsible for what is happening at the Club and is hurting as much as anyone. He is a winner and loves playing this game.

He has been honest in his assessment of his own performances in recent weeks. There is little more you can ask from him as a leader.

We find ourselves in this situation for one reason and that’s down to the results.

When I stated that Nathan will go down as one of the most important coaches in Knights history, I meant it.

He has brought this Club out of the darkness it was in when the Wests Group first took control.

Yes, we are in a situation where we have a first-class roster but are lacking results.

The outcomes this season have been unacceptable.

At the start of the year, we set a goal to win most of our games at McDonald Jones Stadium and become a top defensive side.

You want better performances and you deserve them.

You are frustrated. We hear you.

It’s imperative we use this time, prior to the pre-season commencement in November, to get the new coach settled and a plan in place to best position the Club ahead of the 2020 season.

Having established a list of candidates with the assistance of several other trusted people with years of experience in the game, including Director of Football, Brian Canavan and Nathan Brown, the interview process is underway.

I can assure you it won’t be long before we appoint our new Head Coach.

But these things can’t be rushed. We are doing our due diligence and will get this appointment right.

Philip Gardner,

Chief Executive Officer

nib Newcastle Knights