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The Newcastle Knights Football Committee has made a recommendation to the full Board that the club moves to enter into negotiations with Willie Mason’s management.<br><br>The Committee emerged from a lengthy meeting around 11.00am this morning after considering feedback from various internal and external stakeholders, particularly club members and sponsors.<br><br>“We considered all feedback from club stakeholders,” said CEO, Steve Burraston.<br><br>“We also contacted our 10 major sponsors and received their feedback.”<br><br>“While there were a couple who were fifty-fifty, the overall majority felt it was the right decision and believed we can provide the best environment for Willie to return home, rebuild his career and shake off the negative perceptions.”<br><br>“The emails sent to us were slightly in favour of Willie Mason coming here so we decided to run a poll on our website to give our members and supporters a say.”<br><br>“The poll results were overwhelming with 83 percent in support of having Willie Mason at the club in 2010.”<br><br>Mr Burraston stressed the outcome of this morning’s meeting was not a green light to proceed at this stage and there are still some hurdles to overcome before negotiations can commence.<br><br>“Our Football Committee Chairman, Paul Harragon will contact the other five Board members who were not in the meeting today to get their input.”<br><br>“Assuming that is all OK, Keith Onslow (Knights Strategic Development Manager) will drive negotiations under my supervision, said Mr Burraston.”<br><br>Mr Burraston added any agreement moving forward will be subject to strict guidelines.<br><br>“Any contract that we draw up will have strict behavioral clauses included and we will have the availability to terminate if the need did arise,” he said.<br><br>“Having said that we are extremely buoyed by the feedback we have received from club stakeholders during the last week.”<br><br>“Several of the sponsors we spoke to felt we had the right policies and culture in place to give Willie the best opportunity to resurrect his career.<br><br>“They felt this, combined with our community work, would give him the opportunity to reverse the negative perceptions that currently exist.<br><br>“They also believe we are well positioned to give Willie the best possible environment to excel as a player and as a person.”<br><br>The Newcastle Knights will not be making any further public comment until there are further developments to report.
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