Wests Group vote to take control of Knights

Wins on and off the field ... Knights players beating the Warriors on the weekend
Wins on and off the field ... Knights players beating the Warriors on the weekend DARREN PATEMAN

The NRL has completed its handover of Newcastle to The Wests Group after the organisation's members agreed to take control of the embattled club.

The Wests Group confirmed 93% of its 13,635 members voted 'yes' to acquire 100% ownership of the Knights.

"The board would like to thank all members who took the time to vote and correspond with us about this matter,” The Wests Group said in a statement.

"Given the overwhelming support for the acquisition of the Knights rugby league club, The Wests Group will now commence a transition period to complete all outstanding due diligence requirements in preparation for full ownership to commence on 1 November 2017.”

As part of its negotiations with the NRL, The Wests Group has committed to match a maximum $10 million from the state government to build a centre of excellence and homebase for the Knights.

The Wests Group also promised to spend at least $500,000 on grassroots per year for five years.

The handover means Gold Coast remain the final NRL club in the hands of the governing body, however it is understood former owner Darryl Kelly is interested in buying back the franchise.

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