Gateshead quash admin rumours

Gateshead have quashed rumours they are set to enter administration and are looking ahead to the new season.

Director Steve Garside is in discussions with the RFL as he looks to resolve some shareholding issues to take the club, and rugby league in the north east, forward.

Despite investing almost £600,000 in recent years, Garside still only retains a 20% shareholding in Thunder.

Chief Executive Rod Findlay said: “There are some shareholder issues that need resolving but I know that Steve and (chairperson) Sarah Garside are liaising with the RFL. I hope the situation resolves itself in the near future. The majority shareholder has not put in the money agreed and it is not right that the minority shareholder puts in all the cash. The Garsides need to protect their position to allow them to carry on investing in rugby league in the North East.”

He added that reports of impending administration were incorrect and that rumours circulating that players had not been paid last month were also untrue.

Entering administration would result in a nine point deduction for Steve McCormack’s men in 2010, as they look to reach a Championship Grand Final to enable them to earn the right to apply for Super League in 2012.

Currently, two Gibraltar-based companies own 60% of Thunder – Jenson Button Management Ltd and Aryan Investments Ltd – and according to Garside, those two companies owe the club £120,000.

However, the talks with the RFL are believed to centre around an alternative solution to the issue, which would involve a new company being formed with one or two initial shareholders, including Garside.

The new company would honour any outstanding debts that Thunder may have, while the club were also keen to point out that they are trading as normal and that they have this week resolved outstanding player loan fees owed to two clubs.

Findlay added: “In the meantime we are continuing our plans for the 2010 season. We are continuing to attract new sponsors and we have just announced that our kit will be supplied by Puma next season. Off the pitch things are progressing well and we have a really exciting squad lined up for 2010. We can’t wait for the season the begin.”

Gateshead have already recruited well for the 2010 season, and recently confirmed the signings of NRL duo Bryan Norrie and Misi Taulapapa and Leeds half-back Gareth Moore.

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