Former FFV boss appointed to turnaround Jets

Newcastle Jets owner Nathan Tinkler has declared a "fresh start" for the crisis-hit club following the appointment of former Football Federation Victoria boss, Mitchell Murphy, as the new CEO. 

Murphy replaces ex-CEO Robbie Middleby who stepped down recently, precipitating a widespread purging of the club’s playing roster and backroom staff by owner Nathan Tinkler.

The new man in the top job has targeted the development of a strong playing roster and forging sponsorship links among his first priorities.

Murphy's appointment follows a statement from the club that a series of outstanding debts have been "finalised" including payments of about $500,000 "to a variety of creditors, local partners and government organisations". 

Among them, about $130,000 to Northern NSW Football in relation to the Emerging Jets Program, as well as funds to the Office of State Revenue, The Forum where Newcastle Jets train, and a variety of match day creditors.

Tinkler said further payments to creditors will be made over the coming weeks.

The fallen tycoon, who was slapped with a show cause notice by Football Federation Australia, will hope the actions of the past 24 hours will encourage the governing body to hold fire.

“Today provides a fresh start for the Newcastle Jets,” Tinkler said.

“We’re introducing new drive and people into the organisation and will be setting new goals over the coming months.

“I hope my actions today prove to people my commitment to the Newcastle Jets, the Hunter region, and the Hyundai A-League."

Murphy is no novice when it comes to conflict, having overseen a torrid time between dissenting clubs and FFV during the implementation of the National Premiers League competition.

Tinkler hailed Murphy for overhauling FFV’s financial performance, implementing the NPLV and driving Melbourne Victory’s Westfield W-League 2014 Grand Final triumph.

“Mitchell has immense corporate experience, proven business acumen and brings a first-rate network of high profile contacts to the table,” Tinkler said.

 “Mitchell will work tirelessly to interact with the Hunter community and also be a fine ambassador for our club in terms of working closely with sponsors and other key stakeholders.”

Murphy has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from RMIT and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

He has a close affinity to football, with teenage son Samuel a current South Coast regional youth league representative player and niece, Matildas star Katrina Gorry, the reigning AFC Women’s Player of the Year.

Murphy has experience in the FMCG industry and a vast media background, including a decade in senior management roles with Fairfax Media.

He is also a former Executive Director (Publishing) of the media industry’s peak industry body, The Newspaper Works.

“The Hyundai A-League continues to go from strength to strength and I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the Newcastle Jets,” Murphy said.

“The superb crowds at the recent AFC Asian Cup games played in Newcastle reflects the region’s affection for the world game.

“It’s imperative our club has a strategic mindset and builds a sustainable winning culture both on and off the field.

“We need to focus on the future and not dwell on the past. Developing a strong playing roster and forging long-term partnerships with quality sponsors are obviously of paramount importance.

“I’m looking forward to engaging with the Jets’ passionate membership base.

“Seeking feedback from members and fans about ways to improve the match day experience and the design of our playing strip for next season is high on my agenda.

“I’m fully committed to developing cohesive working relationships with Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Northern NSW Football,” he said. 

Murphy will officially start his role with the Jets on Monday February 16.

Meanwhile the Jets will hope to bounce back from a 7-0 mauling by Adelaide United when they face a resurgent Brisbane Roar at Hunter Stadium tonight.