Newcastle Jets head coach Carl Robinson and his assistant Kenny Miller have today departed the embattled club to take up roles with A-League rivals Western Sydney Wanderers.
Robinson joined the Jets in February and oversaw a turnaround in form, guiding the previously struggling side to six wins, three draws and a loss during his 10 games in charge.
However, the Wanderers targeted the 44-year-old Welshman after sacking Jean-Paul de Marigny, who was only given the top job on a permanent basis three months ago, earlier this week.
Robinson said he enjoyed his time at Newcastle and wished the club success in the future.
“I loved working alongside [Chief Executive] Lawrie McKinna and [Operations Manager] Joel Griffiths, and all the great people that were involved in the support staff and beyond,” he said.
“The buy-in from the players was fantastic, especially through what was a very tough period with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the support from the members and fans was great from the day I walked through the door.”
McKinna said that, while the club wanted Robinson and Miller to remain in Newcastle, “circumstances out of our control” meant Wanderers were able to present an opportunity to the pair for them to explore.
“There was an agreement in the contract which dictated that if any approaches were made for Carl over the course of his three-year deal, we had to notify him of the interest,” McKinna said.
“They asked for the chance to speak to the Wanderers and, due to the current circumstances at the club, the situation developed.”
The Jets are reportedly in a dire financial position amid the search for a new owner.
Chinese businessman Martin Lee bought the club in 2016, but reports first surfaced of him looking to offload the Jets back in May 2019 and he has since been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
A Chinese-linked investment firm was allegedly close to agreeing to a deal in September, only to pull out at the last minute.
McKinna said he understood the loss of both Robinson and Miller would disappoint the club’s members and fans who “support us through thick and thin”.
However, he added Newcastle was eager to find a replacement as quickly as possible.
“The search for a new head coach has already commenced, and we will have more information around this when new ownership is rubber stamped in the near future,” McKinna said.