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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Jets’ uncertainty removed, says executive chairman

“The uncertainty that has overshadowed the Jets in recent times has been removed” is how newly-appointed executive chairman Shane Mattiske summed up another turbulent period in the Newcastle club’s history.

The Hunter-based organisation secured its future in the A-League and Westfield W-League competitions this week after its licence – stripped from former owner Martin Lee on Monday 4 January – was granted to a consortium of Australian Professional Leagues (APL) outfits, led by Sydney FC, Western United FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.

Football Australia (FA) and the APL’s decision was based on the Newcastle Jets Club Pty Limited’s failure to pay its debts, which placed it in material breach of the Club Participation Agreement.

Under the APL consortium, there will be a swift transition to the new operating entity that now holds the Jets’ licence, ensuring minimal impact on the team, its members and supporters.

Respected sports administrator Mattiske, who stepped into the role on Tuesday 5 January, said everyone was focused on providing stability for the club and, in time, moving to an ownership model, which is more representative of the local community.

“[Today] is a very positive step in the history of a great club that has strongly represented Newcastle, the Hunter and Northern NSW for two decades,” he added.

“The Jets now have a strong financial foundation to support its drive for further success in the A-League and Westfield W-League.

“The announcement recognises the importance of the Newcastle Jets to Australian football and the strong commitment APL has to football in the Hunter and Northern NSW region.

“There is no question that the future success of the Jets will rely heavily on the support of the local community.

“So, I look forward to working closely with the many passionate fans of this great club.

“We need all our supporters to stand up and strongly get behind their team.

“As well, we thank all those who have supported the club through the recent period of uncertainty, particularly the players, staff, sponsors, members and all those in the broader Newcastle Jets family.”

The APL consortium revelation could not come at a better time for Newcastle, which suffered a 1-0 loss to the Central Coast Mariners on New Year’s Eve in the 2020-21 A-League season opener.

“The news today is a big boost for the players and for the rest of the club,” Jets captain Nigel Boogaard said.

“While the players have remained focused on performing, I’ll admit the ownership discussions have been a distraction.

“I’m glad that we can all now look forward to this Friday’s game and beyond, knowing that the club is now on a strong footing.”

To thank the Hunter community for its support, the A-League and Westfield W-League double-header at McDonald Jones Stadium on 8 January will feature special pricing to recognise the fresh start for the Jets.

All adult tickets are $10, with juniors and concessions $5.

Memberships remain valid and further information regarding tickets will be communicated directly to members.