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A-League club Newcastle Jets up for sale

22 August 2014, 09:13

Sydney - A-League club Newcastle Jets was put up for sale on Friday but mining magnate Nathan Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group has assured the league they will continue to run operations until a new buyer is found.

Tinkler has enjoyed a tumultuous relationship with the Football Federation Australia (FFA) since he bought the Jets in 2010, threatening to hand back the licence in 2012 after saying he had lost confidence in the governing body.

One-to-one talks with FFA supremo Frank Lowy smoothed over that row but, having recently off-loaded rugby league team the Newcastle Knights, Tinkler seems determined not to see out the remaining six years of his licence.

"Football Federation Australia (FFA) has previously noted comments from Nathan Tinkler regarding the ownership of the Newcastle Jets," an FFA spokesperson said.

"FFA continues to have regular positive dialogue with the Newcastle Jets about operational and business matters.

"FFA is comfortable with the Newcastle Jets' plans for the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season and beyond."

The A-League has enjoyed a surge in popularity and two years of stability since the acrimonious demise of Gold Coast United, which was owned by mining billionaire, Clive Palmer.

Gold Coast were replaced by FFA-owned start-up Western Sydney Wanderers, who have finished runners-up in their first two seasons and have reached the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League.

The Jets, who finished seventh in the 10-team league last season with average crowds of nearly 12,000, are scheduled to open the new season against Central Coast Mariners on Oct. 11.

"Until the change of ownership is complete, we will continue to execute our plans in preparation for the 2014/15 season," Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby said in a news release.

"The club has been rebuilt since 2010 and we now have a solid foundation from which to grow.

"We look forward to securing new owners and moving forward with this new chapter."

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- Reuters


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