The Newcastle Jets Ryan Griffiths retrieves the ball as he celebrates their matching winning goal by Sung - Hwan Byun during their A-League match at Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Newcastle defeated the Heat 3-2. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

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On the same day that Football Federation Australia announced that Nathan Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group (HSG) would honour its contract to run the Newcastle Jets, saving the former champions, the governing body heralded a new dawn of collaboration with A-League clubs.

Finally, some good news from the previously beleaguered league.

With a collective sigh of relief, the football community is claiming that the A-League is back on course after rolling on from one catastrophe to another ever since Clive Palmer, Gold Coast United owner, spectacularly set of a cosmic chain of events that threatened the league’s very existence.

It’s a remarkable turn of events considering just three weeks ago Tinkler and the FFA seemed destined for the courts, with the former’s HSG citing a fundamental breakdown in their relationship with the FFA as the reason why it handed back the Jets’ licence, following Palmer’s path on the outer of the game.

So why the backflip?

The official line is that FFA chief Frank Lowy and Tinkler met over the weekend and sorted out their differences; the billionaires moving on and agreeing to work together despite the animosity of the last month. But was it really that simple?

Did Tinkler, realising he didn’t have a leg to stand on in the courts considering he had signed a 10-year deal to run the Jets, bite the bullet and accept the FFA’s invitation to come back into the fold?

Was this whole dummy spit merely a negotiating ploy for Tinkler to get some concessions or a waiving of the contentious extra fee he paid for the Jets’ licence relative to other owners?

Perhaps the backlash in Newcastle hit Tinkler hard; the community whom he sought to provide a strong, united, cross-sport brand rallying against him rather than the FFA, prompting the residents of Newcastle to question whether he could be trusted with their other sporting treasure, the Newcastle Knights rugby league club.

“When I first made this commitment I did it on behalf of the community and I am committed to further developing football and sport in a community I grew up in and am proud of,” said Tinkler.

Whether that community can trust him after he toyed with them and threatened the existence of their beloved club remains to be seen. He must earn their trust back, which won’t be any easy task given his drastic actions of the last month.

So all is right with the A-League, they say.

Newcastle is back in the fold, guaranteeing the required 10-team competition next season; advertising entrepreneur John Singleton shapes as the Central Coast Mariners’ saviour if the mysterious Russian investors never surface; Perth Glory and Adelaide United owners have come out guaranteeing their commitment amidst speculation over their futures; the Western Sydney heartland will have a community-driven club up and running; and league problem child, Gold Coast United, and its troublesome owner have been banished.

Even if Palmer maintain his war against the FFA via his Football Australia rebel body, he’s crucially without what appeared to be his key ally in Tinkler, who has sided back with the FFA. And with his campaign to take on the federal government and his brazen plan to build a Titanic Mark II (of all things), one wonders if Palmer will still have the time (motivation) to persist with his campaign against the FFA.

With the new Joint A-League Strategic Committee (JALSC) up and running, having met for the first time in Sydney yesterday, clubs are getting a taste of the transparency and say they have demanded.

According to the FFA, the committee meeting marked “a new era of collaboration between clubs and the governing body”.

In owners Tony Sage (Perth Glory), Peter Sidwell (Melbourne Heart) and Greg Griffin (Adelaide United), who will represent the clubs on the JALSC, there is a good cross-section of representation for the rest of the owners.

But the key test of the JALSC will be whether it becomes merely a forum for the club owners to air their grievances, or if it can be a committee where decisions and reforms are formulated for the FFA to then push through.

Having had multiple cases of rogue owners rebelling against their authority and, somehow, coming out the other end with a league still intact, the biggest mistake the FFA can make is to pat itself on the back for winning back Tinkler and saving the Jets and simply move on. Genuine reform is still needed, and the league remains at the mercy of other disenfranchised rogue owners.

With the cash-strapped governing body rushing in and bankrolling a new Western Sydney for next season, it could not afford to run a Newcastle, Central Coast or other owner-less club.

Yet as Adelaide United proved a fortnight ago when, in a desperate bid to help fund their Asian Champions League campaign, they negotiated with “the enemy” in Palmer’s Football Australia for sponsorship, clubs are bleeding financially; even those with committed owners, on- and off-field success and a strong community presence.

The FFA dodged a pretty massive bullet over the Jets. But it remains in bed with an owner that has once before walked away from his club and others who could yet do so. And unless there is genuine reform as a result of open discourse with the club owners, there will be more Tinkler-style behaviour with owners threatening to walk away if they don’t get their way.

That’s no way from a league to exist and hope to engage with fans that become the innocent victims in the power struggle.

The FFA has by fluke or design crafted a 10-team competition that finally has its much sought after two teams in Melbourne and Sydney respectively and has rid itself of the flawed Queensland expansion franchises.

Now is the time to build on that foundation in a new era of transparency with the club owners. The FFA flirted with disaster with the Palmer saga. Fail to learn the lessons from the rogue owner revolt and it might not be so lucky next time.

Portrait of Nathan Tinkler by sports caricaturist David Green

Portrait of Nathan Tinkler by sports caricaturist David Green

Adrian Musolino
Adrian Musolino

Adrian Musolino is editor of V8X Magazine, and has written as an expert on The Roar since 2008, cementing himself as a key writer who can see the big picture in sport. He freelances on other forms of motorsport, football, cycling and more.

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The Crowd Says (49)

  • May 2nd 2012 @ 6:52am
    ManInBlack said | May 2nd 2012 @ 6:52am | ! Report

    when you sleep with furry creatures you tend to wake up with fleas.

    So long as the FFA and fans are happy to jump back into bed with Mr.Tinkler.

    This whole affair has really exposed this ugly side of a Billionaires club.

    And, with job losses more and more widespread every day – – I wouldn’t waste too much time feeling sympathy for Lowy or Tinkler or any other of these folk, (the tax dodging Palmer amongst them).

    So, back to those fleas!!!!

  • May 2nd 2012 @ 8:12am
    Titus said | May 2nd 2012 @ 8:12am | ! Report

    I think yesterday was a significant day for the a-league. Not much detail has emerged from the JALSC meeting but with comments from Tony Sage and the easing of Tinklers stance, it would appear that the FFA has taken steps to respond to and address the concerns of the club.

    I think the a-league has had to learn a lot on the run and it is encouraging that all stakeholders are committed and willing to work together to grow the game. With this news fans can concentrate on looking forward to next season.

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 8:49am
      Kasey said | May 2nd 2012 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      Uh-oh. A positive article in football’s off season, standing by for an entertaining day of reading just why we football fans shouldn’t be optimistic after a great start to the week. Bitters and Sockah haterz step up to the firing line in 3-2-1. 🙁

      Highlights of the week and its only Wednesday.
      1. Newcastle team saved. I can only assume FFA had Tinkler over a barrel legally and HSG saw this.
      However it started(the coming back together between FFA and HSG) this is a classic case of compromise. The fans are the winners though in this, & I am thankful that it has been resolved.
      2. First meeting of the Joint A-League Standing committee**
      3. CCM Plan B (Singo invests) coming to fruition until the Russian investment can be inked in.
      4. The 4th of 5 community meetings for the new Sydney club was conducted in front of another large and receptive audience
      5. On field the CCM thrashed the CSL team Tanjin Teda 5-1 last night and now look like progressing through to the knockout stages of the ACL. If AU can do the same in progressing [box seat thus far], it would be a huge shot in the arm for the image of the league throughout our confederation.

      As I said here a month agowhen the HJSG bru-haha erupted, put your money on a 10 team league including NJ and WS once all parties had a chance for sanity to break out. I was called allsorts of names and derided as a happy clapper, I guess showing optimism and hope can pay off. maybe some more football fans ought to try it.
      Point 2 is for me the most crucial step forward and perhaps in 10 years time we’ll look back and say it was ‘the’ pivot-point in changing the relationship between the owners and the FFA from a knife-edge adversarial one into one of broad co-operation towards the betterment of the league and the game in this country.
      During America’s Soccer crisis of 1999 [ a mere 3 years after MLS kicked off] MLS had only 3 Owner-operators(investors) running a 10 team league – having just contracted the 2 Florida teams, supposedly a soccer hotbed (high Latino population) . MLS and the USSF got together to thrash out a deal that ended up creating SUM – Soccer United Marketing (bringing new revenue streams into the game) and look at them now, going from strength to strength. This meeting has serious potential as long as it isn’t overly adversarial and the guys involved put the good of the game first. I am oddly confident/optimistic in the future. As for finding out what they discussed. Its not like parliament, you cant file for a FOI. its will mostly be commercial in Confidence stuff and I reckon we’ll have to wait for “the story of the first 10 years of the A-League” book to come out to know what went on in there.

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:15am
        Futbanous said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        Kasey
        Just on the Florida teams mentioned. something you may or may not know. I read an article a few years ago as to why they didnt succed. Florida is indeed because of the Latin population a “Soccer hotbed”.
        However they are also very knowledgable about football worldwide & wouldnt accept what they considered inferior football as put on the park by the MLS at the time.
        This is a salutary lesson for the A-League in general as we know,but in particular for the West Sydney team which arguably has the largest population of informed football fans in Australia..

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 10:04am
          Wasp said | May 2nd 2012 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          The NSL of the 1970’s that I followed suffered from several factors, one was growing and expanding far too quickly.
          There were clubs such as Cosmos who were for some time getting crowds of 80,000 as well as the teams from the Florida area such as the Tampa Bay Rowdies who are still around playing in the second tier of the US leagues.
          They used to get great crowds but financial issues hit many clubs and they fell completely over or became smaller community based clubs.
          The initial money inversted dried up like that of the Cosmos but support is still strong in most areas. Tampa still get 6,000 crowds, not bad for a semi pro second division style comp.
          Support has also gone from the initial ethnic to mainstream to a far greater degree. Obviosly many clubs still retain their ethnic beginings but even their support is now growing to become more multi national in their makeup.
          A few are still like Chivas very much a Mexican supported club.
          Australia is following a growth srinkage pattern similar to that of the North American game as well as that seen in Japan. It will grow srink and get bigger and I hope to see it breaking even with better money from TV in a few years as support and general public perception is broadened. The press however has much to answer in keeping growth down with their own agendas but must soon realize that the game can and will work alongside other codes.
          The old bias will deminish over time and newer reporters will eb less biased(Well I hope).

          All we want is a successfull A-League.

          • May 2nd 2012 @ 10:28am
            Kasey said | May 2nd 2012 @ 10:28am | ! Report

            An 80k crowd in the NSL would have been earth shattering, methinks you missed an A there mate;) The point is valid, the NASL got too big for its boots too quickly. Its all in a book called Soccer in a football world. They tried to ape everything the NFL was doing, even having a neutral location SoccerBowl to determine the champions, but with only the Cosmos drawing crowds that covered the bottom line, overall the league was bleeding money. It is the fear of the same occurring that lead t the single entity ownership model employed today where the league owns all the contracts and distributes the players. the ‘Owners Own the right to run the team in the locality, but are constrained by league rules on rosters and salaries to prevent over spending. the league owns the debts collectively, so it is incumbent on the owners to help each other to create new revenue streams. This working together seems to have worked for them as MLS appears to be going from strength to strength, with franchise fees rising from $10m to a reported $100m for the rights to run MLS#20 the 2nd New York team in the near future. All the new teams that have entered in the last 4 years have brought more fans to the league and raised the averages and KPIs. I have noticed that of the new teams entering, many are from former NASL cities and most have gone with the old heritage names, Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers Montreal Impact. the kids that were exposed to soccer in the 70s via the NASL are adults now and are able to buy into the new MLS as season ticket holders.

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 1:11pm
              Nathan of Perth said | May 2nd 2012 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

              “Owners Own the right to run the team in the locality, but are constrained by league rules on rosters and salaries to prevent over spending.”

              It was the interferences in matters like this that drove Nick Tana to pack it in and also sent Sage up the tree.

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 2:22pm
              Kasey said | May 2nd 2012 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

              but its rules like that that recently saw the A-League recognized as a very even league and much more competitive than say La Liga or EPL. If Sydney or Melbourne could use the size of their market place to ‘blast other teams out of the water, we’d end up in a moneyball situation just to stay competitive. Why would a Perth fan buy a season ticket knowing at the start of the season the team has no real chance of silverware. We don’t have a culture here of “surviving the drop is as good as winning a trophy” like in say Wigan or Wolverhampton. There is no one way to run a football league, like us, the yanks have taken the basics and altered it to suit the local market. This means a salary cap and roster constraints. As the HAL develops and matures I expect in both countries that the constraints will be reduced, we already see a marquee/Beckham rule in both leagues, I see no reason why we cant get rid of the squad limit in the future. If the PFA is prepared to negotiate on the minimum payment floor. Once the dividend from the FFA covers the salary cap, the better run clubs will be in more of a position to buy marquee players and perhaps splurge on the nice to haves. running your club better/smarter should have tangible benefits to the owners.

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 10:05am
          Kasey said | May 2nd 2012 @ 10:05am | ! Report

          Yes I read that explanation, to many Floridians MLS tried to ‘con’ the locals in their eyes by putting lipstick on a pig. a mixed bag of US players and the odd mid-level name Latino player as a marquee. They are now starting smaller with teams in the NASL (tierII) and building up slowly, with teams in each of the ‘failed’ locations. Tampa Bay(the Rowdies) and Fort Lauderdale Strikers (Miami)
          Oddly, I feel that with 7 years of history, the people of WS are agitating for live football action and will still come out in good numbers to support their team – the 7 years means they should know what they are getting in for. its not the EPL, but it matter because it represents us and our regions. It will help if the WS team is truly representative of the region by playing a lot of players from the area like AU did when it first started. I get the feeling that by engaging the community from the beginning as they have, the new team will avoid many of the pitfalls they could have fallen in to, crappy name and colour scheme, wrong stadium etc. A supporters group already exists for the team (Western Front) and that has to be a good sign. if WF > the Beach and WS > than GCU in all KPIs then logically WS is a solid step forward for the HAL.

  • May 2nd 2012 @ 8:24am
    Futbanous said | May 2nd 2012 @ 8:24am | ! Report

    There is no turning point,just a series of adjustments necessary on a steep learning curve.
    Creates good publicity to dramatise recent billionaire events,but the reality is their just another part of the evolution of professional football in Australia.
    Clive’s gone onto more Titantic matters(as indicated by Adrian),but make no mistake he has a spot in that evolution.
    Without heavyweight investors like him I doubt whether yesterday would have happened as quickly re Tinkler & the JALSC.
    This is the major difference between the FFA era & its predecessors.
    There are many reasons for the malaise of football in Australia in the past,one of them being apathy because nobody of note,nobody with influence cared.
    Now they do & things happen because of it. Adjust,learn,improve.

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 8:55am
      Kasey said | May 2nd 2012 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      I notice that Tony Sage had this to say after the first meeting of the JALSC
      “Clive Palmer was among those thanked by another FFA critic – Perth Glory owner Tony Sage – on Tuesday after emerging from the first Joint A-League Strategic Committee (JALSC) meeting convinced of a bright future for the league.

      Sage was full of praise for the FFA after 10 “critical” owner issues were addressed at the meeting, just hours after the governing body announced Nathan Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group (HSG) had reaffirmed their support for the Jets.

      Palmer threatened legal action after being stripped of the Gold Coast United licence, but Sage believed the A-League owners’ issues raised by the outspoken mining magnate and fellow billionaire Tinkler prompted a change of heart from the FFA.

      http://www.foxsports.com.au/football/a-league/controversial-billionaire-clive-palmer-thanked-for-his-role-in-saving-the-a-league/story-e6frf4gl-1226344056416
      Smart politics from TS – Its great politics from TS. Say a few nice words to sooth the fats mans unbearably large ego and hopefully he’ll Sod right off and let the FFA/JALSC get on with running the game instead of creating damaging headlines for the game every time a 1%-er doesn’t go your way. Smart move, with Titanic 2 and parliament on the horizon, I expect CP to get very busy and drop his Quixote-like windmill charge against FL in the near future. all good news. been a great start to the week for football:)

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:09am
        Rusty0256 said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:09am | ! Report

        So i take it that Gold Coast United was ‘Titanic 1’ – sunk after hitting the ‘Freedom of Speech’ iceberg and sinking with the loss of over 1000 supporters (mostly 1st class supporters though in this case).

        Obviously the irony escapes Mr Palmer.

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:49am
          Kasey said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:49am | ! Report

          Look, I’m still hugely annoyed at Mr Craig Foster for ignoring the elephant in the room and failing to ask CP the obvious question when CP appeared on TheWorldGame earlier this year.
          “So Clive, what makes you think you’re qualified to tell the FFA how to run the entire game in this country when it is plainly obvious from your stewardship of GCU that you couldn’t even run one club successfully? – and I specifically refer to engaging with the community not just paying the bills on time” IMO Foster saw the chance to stick the boot into the FFA pushing his personal anti-FFA agenda and shirked the challenge. unlike him in his playing days.

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 1:14pm
        Nathan of Perth said | May 2nd 2012 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

        I made the comment on this board a while back that Clive might go down as the ringleaders of French Mutinies of WWI – executed but many objectives achieved posthumously.

  • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:12am
    PGNEWC said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:12am | ! Report

    “Was this whole dummy spit merely a negotiating ploy for Tinkler to get some concessions or a wavering of the contentious extra fee he paid for the Jets’ licence relative to other owners?”— yep for mine a negotiating ploy –he does have some form on this does our Nathan. I remember last year he tried it twice with the Knights handover — one where he delayed signing of on the whole takeover and another when he delayed paying the guarantee. Unless he gets what he more or less wants he adopts this “no lollies for you baby unless you behave”stuff. Note the timing of it — when Lowy was committed to the Western Sydney Venture and didn’t have the resources to deal with Newcastle. It remains to see what are the full concessions he has rung from the FFA.

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:42am
      Kasey said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      That was my thought from the start. these mining magnates have one play only and Tinklers is to bluff and bully his way through boardrooms to get what he wants. He tried and succeeded with the Knights and now it looks with the jets. What he forgets is that football team fans have memories and will want to know why they were treated like crap/pawns in his power game a lot of work for Mr Tinkler to do to regain the trust of the Hunter region methinks. in both codes. I think the Jets saga showed just how precarious the Knights situation could be and I wonder if the Knights fans overrode their natural ambivalence/hatred of the wog-ballers to stand side by side with them in Hunter sports solidarity and if this worried Tinkler at all?

  • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:23am
    Midfielder said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:23am | ! Report

    Raw Data

    Crowds up I think 35% the last time I read, ratings up 43% the last time I read them, memberships up by 20%…

    New Competition.

    The original eight foundation teams, plus a second Sydney & second Melbourne team…. with Canberra & Wollongong next on the list..

    Mistakes Corrected

    North Queensland & Gold Coast should never have been admitted at this early stage of the A-Leagues development .. CP was not capable of running a football club [he could pay the bills] but as for engagement with the football community he as out of his league…

    Lessons have they been learnt

    According to Tong Saga & Nathan Tinkler and the other A-League owners they have…

    Now

    Currently the committee …

    Interview with Lyal Gorman on SBS impressed me a lot [unlike BB] but LG spoke likr and AFL or NRL person and his interview is worth listening too…

    http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/video/2228588326/Lyall-Gorman-on-TWG

    The Future

    The A-League moving to a committee and a 12 team competition and the Australian Cup …

    The real strength of any new start business is being there and more importantly be able to react to issues as they arise .. IMO FFA have reacted in time…

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:36am
      Kasey said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:36am | ! Report

      I also was impressed by Lyall Gorman, he demonstrated a real passion for the game which is why I think you’ve grouped him with Andy D and David G, both of those admins seem to have a real passion for the game they run. BB, is not and likely never will be a passionate football man and you cant fool us,
      My only concern with Gorman is his potential conflict of interest with his family holding an interest in the Mariners. I believe the FFA have plugged the holes(most of which they created) in time and can now start pumping out the water. this vessel can be saved, righted, floated and sailed back for refit. She has a solid structure, just needs some TLC and she’ll be a faithful vessel for many a generation to come.

      • Roar Guru

        May 2nd 2012 @ 9:56am
        Philip Coates said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        We have to be a little forgiving on the potential conflict of interest issues. That is the reason Lowy hasn’t invested more in Sydney FC, because of the perceived conflict with being chairman of FFA. You could say that Sage, Sidwell and Griffin all have conflict issues being club owners and members of FFA/JALSC. They could be pushing issues that benefit their clubs (and themselves personally) over the good of the game. I don’t think they are, but it is where you end of if you take conflict of interest too far.

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 1:00pm
      JimmyMac said | May 2nd 2012 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

      Nice summary Midfielder, and it wouldn’t be Australian football without an unbearably large dose of drama along the way!

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 4:44pm
      Bondy said | May 2nd 2012 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

      Midfielder.
      If Arnie goes he’s not taking Phil is he, I wouldnt like that .

  • Roar Guru

    May 2nd 2012 @ 10:40am
    Fussball ist unser leben said | May 2nd 2012 @ 10:40am | ! Report

    Terrific news for the HAL yesterday – not just the HSG back-flip, but also the positivity generated by the inaugural JALSC meeting.

    Also, buried in the bigger national football stories was a story about the Victorian State Government increasing its financial commitment to Victorian Football by $1.45m next year .. at the same time, the same Government has reversed a decision to provide a financial contribution to AFL club, Essendon to build new facilities!

    Unlike those who pay attention to football as theatre-watchers, as a fan of AUS football for the past 35+ years, I smile at monthly (sometimes daily) cries of “crisis in Sockah”. And, I also realise there will be no “V-shaped turning point”.

    There will be short-term successes for the HAL as the years progress; there will also be short-term failures. But, as a stakeholder in AUS football, I’m only interested in long-term trends. Like all the good things in life, change in AUS football will take time.

    I waited 32 years to watch my National Team participate in the biggest sporting event on the planet, so I take nothing for granted.

    All I want is football to keep advancing in this country and, as far as I’m concerned, the football landscape in AUS in 2012 (participation, domestic competitions, public awareness & success of National Teams both genders, media attention, access to football information, etc.) is far advanced to where it was at any stage in the past 35 years.

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 12:05pm
      Neil said | May 2nd 2012 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

      Well said, I started in this game as a 6 year old 38 years ago from a rugby league family in QLD and fell in love with football. I agree with all your comments and have learnt over the years to shut out the anti-football brigade (for the life of which I can not understand their vitriol towards football) and get on with enjoying the game I love.
      I had a interesting comment made to me to on the train going to an ACL match in Brisbane by even an older bloke than me, that if you want to watch best AFL, there is only one competition and that is here, if you want to follow the best rugby league, the best competition in the world is here, in a lesser way the same can be said for Union. In football I can turn to SBS and FOX and watch the best leagues in the World and here is one of the problems, the Eurosnobs have no interest in supporting football here but will follow and overseas team, I met some some at the Celtic v Roar game a couple of years ago.
      People from outside the game often ask me which overseas team I follow and when I say none, I support Brisbane Roar they look surprised, the only way the game will grow here is for football loving people is to support football here, no matter what the’faults are.
      One interesting spectator I met once, went to a Roar, QLD Reds (Union) and Broncos (rugby league) in one weekend, he told he loves all sport but goes to the football because the crowds even though smaller are more passionate, this type of well heeled spectator is well worth targetting.

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 12:24pm
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | May 2nd 2012 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

      You might like to comment—in the Sydney Telegraph today football journo Tom Smithies has written that Frank Lowy has withdrawn the $3.5m acquisition fee that Frank Lowy charged Tinkler, which no other club had to pay—amongst other concessions.. So do you still say that it was not Frank Lowy who back flipped? It’s very clear to me now who back flipped and it was not Nathan Tinkler. Well done Nathan… Frank Lowy is doing all he can to put all the owners offside with his autocratic style of management—-time for him to retire gracefully and let an independent Football Commission take control… JALSC is a good start for that to come about..

      • Roar Guru

        May 2nd 2012 @ 12:56pm
        Fussball ist unser leben said | May 2nd 2012 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

        QsAF

        You and I will never agree on this issue. Tom Smithies wasn’t in the meeting so he has as much idea as any of us.

        I’m just speaking from a business perspective. If I want to terminate a contract, but the other party says “no you can’t” and, 3 weeks later, I agree to continue with the contract I know that I have back-flipped – not the other party.

        I wanted to walk away from the contract and I’m now I’m not walking away from the contract.

        But, you can continue your churlish bashing of Frank Lowy’s character. The one observation I make is that, as recently as 3 months ago, you were cheering & applauding the same man!

        I understand you’re upset about GCU’s demise, but it’s disappointing that you’ve turned into someone, who attacks our League & the FFA with the same venom as the non-football fans.

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 1:34pm
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | May 2nd 2012 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

          “Though both sides were at pains yesterday to appear conciliatory and not claim victory, it’s understood that compromise on the acquisition fee was the deal maker, followed by a negotiated settlement of Culina’s insurance claim over his ongoing knee injury. Confirmation of the latter is due today, with both the Jets and Culina receiving a payout and the player becoming a free agent as he continues his rehabilitation in a bid to play again next season.”

          http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/soccer/secret-meeting-between-frank-lowy-and-nathan-tinkler-saved-a-league/story-e6frey4r-1226344143078

          Smithies would be very much in the know and that pretty much says it all for mine—it was a back flip of gigantic proportions by Lowy. What Lowy did should never be condone, or there will never be any future investors to come into our game.. Give me men like Tony Sage any day of the week with ethics and integrity.. Frank Lowy is not Australian Football.. He is thinking he is and can’t do no wrong—let’s have an independent Football Commission to run Australian Football.

          • Roar Guru

            May 2nd 2012 @ 1:42pm
            Fussball ist unser leben said | May 2nd 2012 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

            QsAF

            Tom Smithies is – like most journo in AUS are – clueless when it comes to really important information.

            If Tom Smithies was “in the know” he’d have broken the story that a meeting between Lowy & Tinkler was taking place in Brisbane.

            The truth is not a single journalist in Australia reported that Lowy & Tinkler were meeting in Brisbane last week-end. As usual, the AUS sports journos were probably having their usual “long lunch”?

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 2:45pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | May 2nd 2012 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

              C’mon Fuss, Smithies is a well known Sydney Football journo who has all the right contacts to get the up-to-date news items from the insiders from the Jets and even at head office of the FFA. OK, no one was talking about the secret meetings in Brisbane. Although it was pretty obvious that Mr. Poole told Frank Lowy to stick his attempt to woe him over to take on the Jets were bound to fail, so off to see Nathan in Brissie to rescue his credibility…

              What is disappointing is you start off with the line “Terrific news for the HAL yesterday – not just the HSG back-flip” …Nothing of the sort. Nathan was trying to do the right thing for his community but never expected that Frank Lowy was trying to rip him off with a bankrupt Jets franchise.. Personally I’m delighted that Nathan found out when he did, so he now can continue his obligations for the people he cares about most of all; Novocastrians, where Frank couldn’t really give two hoots only the money he was trying to rip off them.. Retire Frank, let Tony Sage and the JALSC do it with honesty.. Let’s have a Football Commission to run the HAL and the FFA with full transparency…

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 4:33pm
              Roger said | May 2nd 2012 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

              Qantas, I’m sorry about GCU. If it were my club that folded, I don’t know what I’d do. Actually, I know what I’d do. I’d probably stop following the A-League.

              If I may, can I suggest that you consider whether or not you are blaming the right person for their demise. Someone is to blame,100% agree. But I’m not sure that your sights should be set on Lowy and FFA.

            • Roar Guru

              May 2nd 2012 @ 5:04pm
              Philip Coates said | May 2nd 2012 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

              QSAF, so now we have to believe what Smithies says do we? OK. The day before he wrote “… Nathan Tinkler has performed a U-turn …” http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/tinkler-back-as-jets-owner/story-e6frexni-1226343857839
              Surely you must now believe it is true because Smithies said so.

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 5:28pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | May 2nd 2012 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

              philipcoates—–Don’t make me laugh Phil that only endorses what I have written and also endorses what Smithies has stated in his last piece.. Lowy caught with his pants down… Very much a back flip by Lowy chasing Tinkler all over the country to say I’m sorry for trying to rip you off… I mean did you read the whole article or just the head line..?

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 6:11pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | May 2nd 2012 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

              No Roger you would crucify the person who pulled the pin on the Melb Vic with two more years to run on your franchise. The punishment didn’t fit the crime.. It’s not as if we (GCU) were involved in a match fixing scam, or bribing referees—we were building a club in a region that the FFA themselves identified as a future market to be in. Two more years could have made all the difference, we may have advanced the club further with all locally produced players making up our side, which we almost had done. The Roar turned their fortunes around in two years from poor results and flagging attendances there are enough potential supporters in Queensland. Why couldn’t the FFA go to FOX asking to support a 12 team comp—why does it have to be a 10 team comp? And why should I stop supporting Australian Football when its been the sport I’ve enjoyed all my life..? I want a new administration to take Australian Football to a new level.. btw as an old Sydney boy my spiritual team has always been SFC and GCU because that’s where I live. Thankfully I still have SFC to follow in the HAL—my only regret there is Lowy has a stake in it..

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:00pm
              Roger said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

              If Palmer had any intention whatsoever of continuing with the club, why did he have all the players on 12 month contracts?

              Why was the team filled with youth players?

              FFA just did what needed to be done to prevent a long drawn out Palmer tantrum style demise of GCU. Sorry, but blaming FFA and Lowy on what Palmer did isn’t right.

              But I’m glad to hear that you have Sydney to fall back on.

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 11:27pm
              Qantas supports Australian Football said | May 2nd 2012 @ 11:27pm | ! Report

              Roger—no one is suggesting that Clive Palmer made good football decisions on how he should have run our club, but I am convinced that he was determined to see out his last 2 years of the franchise and finish with the youth team playing out the last two seasons in our senior team.

              Contrary to belief the youth team had two year contracts, 5-7 of them I believe. Yes the senior players were on one year contracts. Now I know that is no way to run a professional football team, but that doesn’t mean he did not want to do the right thing for the club and the kids in the squad whom he was very proud of for the remainder of the term. Then to see if it was worth pursuing.

              This interview with Mike Mulvey in part tells you what happen in the final year of our franchise. I hope you stay with it to the end to hear what Mike Mulvey says about United—the good, bad and the ugly. It is what I feel as well.. For me It’s the FFA’s loss as this would have been a great region for football, if given more time to succeed..

              Now that the FFA’s purse strings have been opened (in part thanks to Clive) who knows how we would have progressed with more money—it could have meant that the 5k cap on the stadium would’ve been done away with, a long with a new stadium deal to help, then the disgruntled supporters who left us because of the cap would have returned.

              http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/video/2225279396/EXCLUSIVE:-Mike-Mulvey

            • May 3rd 2012 @ 6:26am
              Roger said | May 3rd 2012 @ 6:26am | ! Report

              I’ll watch that video when I get home.

              But Qantas, honestly, I think you need to have a bit of a rethink regarding who is to blame for the demise of GCU, including who imposed the crowd caps, and who decided to limit contracts.

          • May 2nd 2012 @ 2:05pm
            totti said | May 2nd 2012 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

            qsaf, this is embarrassing. its plain for everyone to see that fuss has torn you a brand new a—hole…

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 1:00pm
        Midfielder said | May 2nd 2012 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

        Read the article and did not see where FL said he wiped out the 3.5 million…. that they comprised meaning I think a spilt ..

        However give credit were credit is due … the Jets saga could have absorbed heaps of management time, lots of money to lawyers and money to pay for keeping the Jets in… FFA would have won but the cash flow to win and time of senior management was not worth a small write down … and at the same time bring NT into the FFA camp rather than the CP camp…

        You may ask about what caused the problem and maybe it was FFA ..BUT unlike the NSL it is fixed… and everyone is moving forward …

        Q you have become like the old NSL clubs hard cores … essentially because your club did not come up to scratch and come not meet the demands of the A-League they are gone…. they may come back some day … but like Olympic & Sydney United etc supporters you appear to be waging a war on FFA … meaning as I see it you put yourself above the greater interest of football..

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 1:31pm
        Realfootball said | May 2nd 2012 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

        “Retiring gracefully” is also an option you should consider, given your inability to move beyond what basically amounts to an anti FFA/Frank Lowy hate campaign.

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 11:55pm
          Qantas supports Australian Football said | May 2nd 2012 @ 11:55pm | ! Report

          I’m all for Australian football, but I don’t like to see it run with deception and con-men. Or with people who have no understanding of what loyalty is all about, which I know you are well acquainted with..

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 4:03pm
      JamesP said | May 2nd 2012 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

      “Also, buried in the bigger national football stories was a story about the Victorian State Government increasing its financial commitment to Victorian Football by $1.45m next year .. at the same time, the same Government has reversed a decision to provide a financial contribution to AFL club, Essendon to build new facilities!”

      Fuss, don’t be so smug as to think the Victorian state government, and Sports Minister Delahunty – who is a former Essendon player, will not give them any money. The AFL has made an art form of extracting money from interstate and federal governments (let alone Victoria) for strategic projects (unlike to $45m waste for the World Cup bid).

      Essendon will get their money. It wont be in this state budget, but they’ll get it before the project is finished.

      http://www.afl.com.au/news/newsarticle/tabid/208/newsid/134683/default.aspx

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