Newcastle Jets have been put up for sale in a bid to secure a long-term, sustainable future for the financially troubled A-League club.
The Jets have been controlled since early 2021 by a group made up of several other A-Leagues clubs, after Martin Lee – who had owned Newcastle since 2016 – was stripped of his franchise licence over unpaid debts and a lack of investment.
Former NRL executive Shane Mattiske was placed in temporary charge by the consortium of owners – led by Sydney FC, Western United and the Western Sydney Wanderers – and has worked to stabilise the club.
The club’s men’s senior side kicked off their A-League season with a 2-2 draw away at Perth Glory on Sunday night, courtesy of a dramatic 92nd-minute equaliser from Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, while the women opened their campaign with a 1-0 win at Central Coast on October 14 before losing 1-0 to Perth on Sunday.
The Jets, who say sponsorship income has doubled over the past two years and that they are on target to achieve 8500 members by the end of the season, have now begun the process of transitioning to new, permanent owners.
The Jets have been put up for sale in a bid to secure a long-term, sustainable future
The financially strained A-League club been controlled since 2021 by a group made up of several other clubs
‘When they stepped in to support the Jets, the owners were focused on building stability, establishing growth and sustainability and finally to support the transition to a more permanent owner,’ Mattiske said in a statement on Monday.
‘Now is the time for the final part of that plan to take place.
‘They’ve delivered on that plan and now we can confidently move to new ownership and a bright future.’
KordaMentha Partner Scott Langdon said he expects a lot of interest in the sale of the Newcastle club, given booming support and engagement with the A-League and its teams.
‘The A-League is expanding. With Auckland just announced as joining the competition, the game continues to increase its popularity and profile in the Australian market,’ he said.
‘Aside from growth here in Australia, football is the world game, so we anticipate expressions of interest from parties around the world who understand what it takes to run a professional sports club.’
‘Our sale process is focused on the Jets having new owners prior to Christmas, so the Jets can enter 2024 with new ownership and a long-term vision for sustained success.’
Newcastle Jets are the second team from the A-League to be put up for sale in recent months – with Perth Glory going into receivership in July.
Chairman of the club says sponsorship has doubled over the last two years
However, Perth will enter the season as a stable entity following this week’s announcement that Melbourne-based property tycoon Robert Brij and John Nekic had bought the club.
The Primeland Group-led consortium will officially sign the final paperwork next month.
‘Stability is the key,’ Stajcic told reporters ahead of Sunday’s season opener against Newcastle in Perth.
‘Fear of the unknown is probably one of the biggest fears we can have as humans.
‘So just knowing we’ve got good owners and stable owners and people who want to invest in the club and the region is really important.
‘I’m sure that will trickle down through the playing rosters of both the men’s and women’s teams as the year goes ahead.’