Football Federation Australia (FFA) has released a press announcement in response to the announcement made by Hunter Sports Group to hand back the licence to the Newcastle Jets. Full release below.
Football Federation Australia Limited (FFA) was today informed by the Hunter Sports Group that Newcastle Jets Football Operations Pty Ltd (Newcastle Jets) is seeking to relinquish its license to operate the Newcastle Jets football club in the Hyundai A-League.
FFA does not accept that the Newcastle Jets have the right to return their A-League licence.
FFA expects that the Jets will continue to honour the Club Participation Agreement with FFA, which is for a term expiring on 30 June 2020.
FFA also expects that the Jets will continue to honour the playing contracts in place with each of their players.
FFA CEO Ben Buckley today expressed his dismay at HSG’s announcement.
“HSG has made repeated undertakings to the people of the Hunter Valley about their commitment to building football and helping the community in Newcastle and the region,” said Mr Buckley.
“There are players, coaches, members and supporters who put their heart into making the club a vibrant part of the Hunter Valley.
“Today’s announcement makes no sense for all those people and for the other clubs in the Hyundai A-League. They can rightfully feel let down.”
Mr Buckley said that no grounds exist for the Newcastle Jets to unilaterally walk away from its obligations.
“FFA has held countless hours of discussions with HSG on a wide range of issues affecting the club and the A-League,” said Mr Buckley.
“The Jets know very well that the Jason Culina matter is subject to arbitration before an independent panel of arbitrators in accordance with the Grievance Procedure and that a hearing is scheduled.
“The issues surrounding the operating model of the league and its clubs were addressed just a fortnight ago when all clubs were shown a road map towards sustainability.
“In addition, the clubs will have a greater say through the Joint A-League Strategic Committee, which has equal FFA and club representation.
“The FFA chairman Frank Lowy and I have made numerous offers to meet in person with Nathan Tinkler. Just two weeks ago a scheduled meeting was cancelled by HSG at short notice.
“However, none of this provides a justification for today’s announcement by HSG or provides any grounds for the Newcastle Jets to relinquish their licence.”