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Knights will get paid, says Mason
Steve Jancetic
19:42 AEST Tue Dec 11 2012

Newcastle prop Willie Mason says he and his teammates have no fears about being paid amid concerns over Knights owner Nathan Tinkler's ongoing financial woes.

With his racing and mining empire seemingly crumbling around him, serious questions have been raised over Tinkler's ability to prop up the Knights.

But it doesn't appear to be a concern for the Knights players, with Mason confident the club would be supported by the NRL should Tinkler's money problems grow.

"I don't think anybody's really worried about payments because regardless, whatever happens, the NRL looks after you anyway," Mason said.

"It's not like if he falls over we don't get paid - no one's worried about money.

"I haven't heard any (of the players) say anything about Tinks."

Mason, who said he regarded Tinkler as a friend, denied the mining magnate's image had been tarnished in Newcastle.

On top of arms of his racing and mining business being liquidated, his Hunter Sports Group is being sued by the NSW government for almost $600,000 in outstanding rent for the Knights' use of their home ground, while there is also a dispute over the $20 million bank guarantee which accompanied his takeover of the club.

He has also had his private jet and helicopter repossessed.

"Tinks is well respected in Newcastle, he's done a lot for the whole region," Mason said.

"He's just that dude that everyone wants to pick on and just hammer him about his money.

"They (the media) don't know what's going on, they don't know how much money he's got, I don't know how much money he's got, but they just keep making up stories.

"He's done a great deal to help Newcastle be the club it is now.

"If you talk about Tinks to the average dude on the street, a Novocastrian, he's going to stand up for him straight away, he ain't going to bag him."


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