The Gidleys now rule at Newcastle Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

The Gidleys now rule at Newcastle Knights

By David Beniuk 23/06/2011 07:16:44 PM Comments (0)

Once it was the Johns brothers who ruled Newcastle, now it's the Gidleys - and Nathan Tinkler.

The Knights confirmed former star centre Matt Gidley as the NRL club's chief executive of football operations on Thursday.

The 33-year-old replaces former chief executive Steve Burraston, who left in April, and will effectively become his younger brother Kurt's boss.

Kurt Gidley is the club's captain and the pair now become the most powerful footballing siblings in the Hunter Valley since Andrew and Matthew Johns ruled on the field in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

They join Canberra's Furner brothers, coach David and CEO Don, as high-powered siblings at an NRL club.

"I think in a way Matt's always been the boss, being a big brother," Kurt told reporters on Thursday.

"He's certainly always been there to turn to and ask advice from so he's been great throughout my childhood and my career.

"He's had a great career in football and I know how hard he's studied in the back end of his career to think about life after football."

Matt Gidley completed a masters degree in business administration after playing 221 games for the Knights between 1996-2006, including the 2001 grand final victory.

He spent four years playing for St Helens in the UK Super League before heading back to the Knights as their business development manager eight months ago.

Gidley says he has enough experience for the role, which will include working closely with incoming master coach Wayne Bennett.

"I was part of leadership groups in my footy career for about the last five or six years," Gidley said.

"I think there's a lot of transferable traits that come from playing that I've already found that are helpful.

"Obviously the support that I'll have in this role is something that allowed me to take this role on."

The Knights fall under the umbrella of multi-millionaire Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group (HSG), which also owns A-League soccer team the Newcastle Jets.

"It's probably not your traditional CEO role of a club," HSG boss Troy Palmer said of Gidley's job.

"It's more tailored towards a CEO of football operations who will then work closely with the commercial team at Hunter Sports Group in regards to the finance and marketing."

HSG officials have said they were after a "football-oriented CEO" who wouldn't have to be concerned with financial, administrative or marketing issues.

The club has undergone a major overhaul since its privatisation, attracting Bennett and big name player signings Darius Boyd, Kade Snowden and Timana Tahu.

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