Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today announced the immediate termination of the Hyundai A-League licence held by Newcastle Jets Football Operations Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of the Hunter Sports Group (HSG).
A new licence will be issued to a new entity owned and controlled by FFA. A club from Newcastle will remain a member of the Hyundai A-League and current players of the Newcastle Jets will be offered contracts with the new entity.
The termination is based on material breaches of the A-League licence held by Newcastle Jets Football Operations Pty Ltd, in relation to non-payment of players and staff, and an ongoing failure to meet standard operational requirements.
FFA notes that HSG placed the Newcastle Jets into voluntary administration today, which in itself is an act of insolvency and a breach of the A-League licence conditions.
FFA CEO David Gallop said HSG had been given every opportunity to continue as the owner and operator of the licence, but it was unable to meet the conditions required to do so.
“FFA has taken this action to protect the interests of the football community in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, and to safeguard the image and reputation of the A-League and its member clubs,” said Gallop.
“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. HSG has proved to be incapable of meeting these requirements.
“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.”
Gallop said that FFA will continue talks with several parties interested in the future ownership structure of the A-League club in Newcastle.
“First of all, we will listen to all the key stakeholders in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley,” said Gallop.
“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.”
Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) CEO David Eland has welcomed the FFA’s intervention this afternoon,”Clearly HSG has been unable to meet their obligations, including the payment of staff and players. NNSWF is encouraged by David Gallop’s comments which point to meaningful community engagement and NNSWF looks forward to partnering with FFA in the future as the club prepares to move forward under new ownership.”