NEW DIRECTION: Former Jets owner Nathan Tinkler at Hunter Stadium last season before he was forced to relinquish control of the club to Football Federation Australia. Picture: Jonathan CarrollI READ with considerableinterest this week that another potential buyerhas surfaced for the Jets.
A Chinese investor, seemingly with deep pockets, and the desire to own an A-League club.
It got me thinking. What do these peopleknow about the A-League? More importantly, what do they know about the Hunter, the people who livehere and the football fabric?
It’s great that the Jets have attracted interest,whether it be from China or any part of the globe. But as a former player and fan, I need to know more.
What is their modus operandi?I want to know their plans for the club. Give me a five-year outlook.
If the right party emerges – someone who puts money into the club, engages the community and does everything right – I would be the happiest man this side of the Caltex twin servos.
The Jets canbe apowerhouse again. But, as history has shown, it could also go pear-shaped very quickly.
No doubts the FFAwill do their duediligence.
If nothing comes of the latest interest – similar to howthe Stephen Thompson deal wentquiet and now appears dead – what does the future hold for the Jets?
The FFA has been holding the can since it took the licence from Nathan Tinkler.But how long will it continue bankrolling the club? Are Wollongong orCanberra next in line?
Rather than waitfor a “White Knight”to come along, the answer could be in front of us.I urge the football community to start thinking and form an opinion on a Hunter ownership model.
Thereis a belief that we needa James Packer, a Gerry Harvey or a John Singleton to come along.Yes, they have the runs on the board, deep pockets and are well known and respected.But they don’thave an intimate knowledge of Newcastle. Even Nathan Tinkler, when did he last livehere?We have people whoknow the region, have the business acumen and the passion to get it done. I have spoken to them.
Whether it is a consortium of 10 to20 people whoown a majority stake, with members makingup the rest, that is to be determined.
In the German Bundesliga at least 51 per cent of every club must be owned by members.Where are they?World champions.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to get the right people. Everyone must be on the same page and work together.
Yes, the Breakers were owned by a local consortium –good people – and lost money. Times have changed. The A-League is different to the NSL. It hasa salary cap, has more income streams andexposure through television and the move into Asia. A new broadcast deal is due in2017.Right now is the perfect time to buy.
We have the resources and people. The reward is we get a bankable A-League future and forge our own destiny.