The FFA Has Terminated The License Of The Newcastle Jets

The Newcastle Jets are no longer a part of the Hyundai A-League, after Football Federation Australia announced their decision to terminate their franchise license this afternoon.

The move comes after Jets owner Nathan Tinkler placed the embattled club into voluntary administration with debts of $2.7million. Days earlier, alarm bells had begun ringing loud and clear throughout the organisation, after both staff and players wages were not paid.
Tinkler had hoped to offload the franchise to Scottish Premier League side Dundee United, in a sale that would have netted him $5million. But FFA today effectively nuked any potential sale to Dundee by revoking the license of the Newcastle Jets altogether – a move it was well within its rights to do, as placing the club into voluntary administration violates the A-League’s ownership license requirements.
Tinkler held the ownership of the club through Newcastle Jets Football Operations Pty Ltd, in itself a subsidiary of parent company Hunter Sports Group. The FFA was beyond scathing in its assessment of the group’s actions.

“HSG has behaved in a deplorable way towards the players and staff of the club in failing to meet basic obligations to pay wages. Anyone who takes control of a sporting club has an obligation to respect the people and the traditions of that club. HSG has failed miserably to in this regard. Today’s action to terminate the licence is the first step to restoring the proud traditions of football in Northern NSW.”

But in good news for football fans in Northern NSW, the revoking of the Jets license does not mean the end of football in the City of Newcastle. Instead, the FFA has pledged to issue a new license to an entity owned and controlled by the FFA that will be based in Newcastle, with current contracted Jets players to be offered contracts with the new franchise.

“Newcastle needs a club operating in a stable environment with certainty of resources in order to be successful and competitive in the A-League and to properly represent the community.”

“This region has incredibly strong community values and any future ownership needs to have people at the heart of things.
“That’s a core value for football in Australia and something we are very committed to in relation to the A-League club in Newcastle.”

Whether the new franchise retains the old identity and colours of the Jets remains to be seen. In terms of moving on and revitalising the relationship between Newcastle football and governing bodies, it seems likely that the FFA would prefer a new team identity to further rid itself of these bad business decisions and management.

But for now, the highly controversial era of Nathan Tinkler in Newcastle sports is over. That can only be a good thing.
Photo: Tony Feder via Getty Images.