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Nathan Tinkler treats me ‘like a little bank’, says Gerry Harvey

“He has until very recently borrowed money from me, it’s a business thing as far as I’m concerned.”: Gerry Harvey says Nathan Tinkler still owes him about $22 million. Photo: Robert Shakespeare “He has until very recently borrowed money from me, it’s a business thing as far as I’m concerned.”: Gerry Harvey says Nathan Tinkler still owes him about $22 million. Photo: Robert Shakespeare
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In an interview with SBS’s World Game on Thursday, Mr Tinkler resolved to settle the Jets’ debts, but, in a statement of defiance aimed at Football Federation Australia, asked for the $5 million Jets acquisition fee he paid in 2011 to be refunded. Photo: Nic Walker

“He has until very recently borrowed money from me, it’s a business thing as far as I’m concerned.”: Gerry Harvey says Nathan Tinkler still owes him about $22 million. Photo: Robert Shakespeare

“He has until very recently borrowed money from me, it’s a business thing as far as I’m concerned.”: Gerry Harvey says Nathan Tinkler still owes him about $22 million. Photo: Robert Shakespeare

Retail titan Gerry Harvey has described how Nathan Tinkler uses him “like a little bank” and revealed the Newcastle Jets owner still owes him about $22 million.

Speaking from a New Zealand horse sale on Thursday, Mr Harvey said former billionaire Mr Tinkler had repaid him about $37 million to date.

The Harvey Norman boss admitted there had been several deadlines for the full debt to be repaid, but said they had “never been adhered to”.

“I’m like a little bank for him,” Mr  Harvey said. “He has until very recently borrowed money from me, it’s a business thing as far as I’m concerned.”

While having loaned Mr Tinkler millions at a time over the past few years to service debts from his rapidly collapsing business empire, Mr Harvey quickly moved to distance himself from any money owed by his friend.

“It’s got absolutely nothing to do with me at all,” Mr Harvey said when asked about debts owed to former Patinack Farm staff.

“If there are people with an issue then they need to raise it with their employer, I am most certainly not involved in any of that. I have never covered their wages.”

Following the very public implosion of the Newcastle Jets this week and Mr Tinkler’s promise to settle the club’s debts, former Patinack staff contacted the Newcastle Herald on Thursday pleading to be paid what they are owed.

One former staffer said he feared losing his home and had not been paid superannuation in full for more than three years.

Another said she was “fed up” with watching Mr Tinkler’s business ventures play out in the media when so many “small people” were owed money.

In an interview with SBS’s World Game on Thursday, Mr Tinkler resolved to settle the Jets’ debts, but, in a statement of defiance aimed at Football Federation Australia, asked for the $5 million Jets acquisition fee he paid in 2011 to be refunded. He is the only A-League owner ever to be charged such a large amount to take over a club.

“Is there also a deadline for me getting my $5 million back from the FFA.  Is that a deadline too?,” Mr Tinkler said. “That would be good. That would really help. FFA is at me for about $500,000, and I am at them for $5 million.”

The Newcastle Herald

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