Newcastle Jets owner Nathan Tinkler has defended the mass culling of his senior playing ranks saying the club was being ‘stabbed to death internally’.
The fallen tycoon sacked ex-Socceroo David Carney, club stalwart Joel Griffiths and captain Kew Jaliens.
Experienced players Billy Celeski and Adrian Madaschi also had their contracts paid out as the quintuple faced the wrath of Tinkler for wanting to oust coach Phil Stubbins.
It was Stubbins who re-signed Griffiths and Carney and brought experienced campaigners Celeski and Madaschi to the club mid-last year.
“If you want to nail yourself to the bottom of the ladder, you do nothing," Tinkler said in a Daily Telegraph exclusive.
“This club has a losing culture and that has to change.”
Speaking about Carney and Griffiths, Tinkler was frank about why they were dismissed.
“Carney has three strikes against his name and has been let go because of behavioural issues,” he said.
“I won’t go into them. He knows what they are.
“Joel would be the first to tell you his best days are behind him.
“I’ve got some time for Joel but his comments and actions over the past week have been disappointing.”
Earlier in the day, Tinkler gave the boot to three members of Stubbins' coaching staff with assistant coach Clayton Zane, strength and conditioning expert Andrew Packer and goalkeeping coach Neil Young informed of their dismissal
Tinkler assumed control of the day-to-day running of the troubled club following the resignation and departure of chairman Ray Baartz and chief executive Robbie Middleby earlier this month.
Simmering problems behind the scenes manifested themselves in a humiliating 7-0 defeat away to Adelaide United when the Jets returned to A-League action last Saturday after a break for the Asian Cup.
The Jets have allowed defender Sam Galloway and playmaker Marcos Flores to leave the club in recent weeks, with goalkeeper Mark Birighitti moving to Serie B on loan and promising youngster Andrew Hoole announcing his decision not to leave when his contract expires.