Lift for A-League's Jets
NEWCASTLE Jets supporters have plenty to cheer about.
Their team will play in the A-League next season after all, billionaire businessman Nathan Tinkler having agreed yesterday to fund the club again.
The shock move came just three weeks after Tinkler stunned the Australian football community when he said he was returning the Jets' licence to Football Federation Australia, during a continuing row over the amount he paid for the club's licence, the way the A-League was run and the ongoing saga of former marquee star Jason Culina's contract.
In a dramatic u-turn yesterday, the Jets players were summoned to a meeting and told that FFA chairman Frank Lowy had made a visit to Tinkler in Brisbane at the weekend and the pair had buried the hatchet.
"It was a good opportunity for Nathan and I to meet face-to-face and resolve the issues that had affected the relationship between FFA and HSG (Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group)," Lowy said in a statement.
"FFA has made some concessions in good faith in order to resolve the matters.
"When Nathan first took on the Newcastle Jets, I welcomed his commitment to running a strong and successful A-League club in Newcastle on behalf of the community of the Hunter region.
"Today, my confidence is renewed over Nathan's personal drive to make the Jets and the A-League successful.
"We agreed on a way forward that addresses the issues HSG have raised and we are now going to get on with developing the game together in a key region for football."
Tinkler said there was now an opportunity for FFA and HSG to work together in achieving shared goals.
"Frank Lowy flew to Brisbane to meet with me face-to-face and I took that as a sign of goodwill," he said.
"It was a gesture I certainly appreciated.
"I welcomed the opportunity to meet and discuss these issues in person.
"We now have a way forward and I remain committed to ensuring Newcastle Jets is one of the most successful clubs in the A-League.
"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."