The King is Dead! Long Live the King!
Con Constantine is gone, with fellow Novocastrian Nathan Tinkler taking up the role as bankroller for the Newcastle Jets. The FFA released a media statement this afternoon, expressing regret at the decision to axe Con, but also expressing their enthusiasm for the new regime and its potential in providing long-term success.
As it stands, Nathan Tinker, who has earned his money through mining, will take control of the Jets license until the end of the season. There has been no mention of an agreement for Tinkler to take over the reins full time, however Ben Buckley sounded very optimistic.
He commented, “We’re very confident this isn’t a short-term solution that this is a long-term plan and a long-term vision. He’s a proud Novacastrian who wants to build a community asset.”
Buckley said of Constantine, “He’s obviously disappointed…We gave him the opportunity to give us the confidence and financial guarantees in the short and long-term – that wasn’t forthcoming but our responsibility is to the game and the competition.”
While it’s sad to see Con go, it is time. He has poured his heart and money into the club, lost a lot along the way but has had his time. If he can’t find the funds then it’s better not to have someone who will rely heavily on bank loans. Hopefully Tinkler will be more open than Con and will conduct his business in a much more amicable and friendly way. It is well known that Con is a very hard business man to deal with, and so this could be a huge turning point for the Jets, as long as the transition is as smooth as possible. Maybe we will see sponsors more willing to back the team. I believe the FFA has done well in the situation. They have obviously been talking to Tinkler for a while now, and their preparation in the event of Constantine’s regime collapsing suggests they were always committed to ensuring the Jets didn’t fold.
Old Tinkles had this to say,
“I urge all of the Hunter community to get behind the Jets and show their support by showing up for the games and becoming members of the club.
“We are keen to get as many sponsors on board as possible. Newcastle deserves a top class A-League team and we are keen to help rebuild the club for the city.
“I have faith in the A-League and the concept of the national competition and I expect Newcastle will play a big role in that future.”
On ya buddy, I already like him.
At the same time, Buckley also expressed caution over further expanding of the A-League, with the Sydney Rovers bid to be carefully examined before a decision is made. Currently the club have failed to provide evidence that it has the funds in order to join the A-League next season, and they only have one month left to do so. In my eyes I think the expansion of the A-League should be put on hold for a couple of years, with troubles at many clubs highlighting the need to concentrate on establishing the current system and ensuring that it doesn’t fold. This decision from the FFA with the Jets is perfect and they should focus all their time and energy on helping the new regime work, as well as concentrating on the Gold Coast, as their crowd figures continue to dwindle to a pathetic level. New teams create distractions, and combined with the 2022 World Cup bid, I don’t think the FFA need any more distractions.
Now all we need is for the Jets to get a won tonight!