Heads roll at troubled Jets

The shake-up at the troubled Newcastle Jets has begun with the shock resignations of Chief Executive Robbie Middleby and Chairman Ray Baartz.

Coach Phil Stubbins was expected to be under pressure after a shambolic start to the season saw the Hunter outfit sitting just two from the bottom.

But the launch of a mid-season review has taken the scalps of those at the top who have overseen the disastrous campaign.

A 5-2 capitulation to Melbourne City at home last month was a low point for the club.

Middleby said he had taken the decision to step down in the interests of the club as it seeks to attract new owners.

Failed tycoon Nathan Tinkler is wanting to offload the franchise licence and has been looking to overseas interests.

Middleby said: "My time at the Jets has been challenging, however as someone born and bred in Newcastle, it has been an honour to be part of this club and football community and I will be forever grateful for that opportunity.

"This decision has been a very difficult one but one that I have made in the best interest of the club and especially my family.

"I have, and will always support this club and wish the members, staff and players all the best for the future. I hope that this decision can aid the transition to new ownership and allow the club to start a new chapter."

"I will use the next few weeks to support the mid-season review process and making this decision now will allow me to give an honest and independent appraisal of where the club is at and provide recommendations of how it could best move forward."

Chairman Ray Baartz added: "Football in the Hunter region has always been a major part of my life and it has been a privilege to be involved with the Jets. I wish the fans and everyone involved at the club all the best for the remainder of the season and in particular the ongoing future of this great club."

The club will now begin the process of appointing a new CEO.

Middleby had hinted earlier that the mid-season review - looking into the commercial and football departments - would place his own position under scrutiny despite securing a 0-0 draw with Sydney FC at Wollongong going into the Asian Cup break.

"While the win against Adelaide and the performance against Victory were encouraging, the club's overall league position is not on track against the targets we discussed during the off-season," he said on the club's website earlier.

"After our match in Wollongong we have a three-week break to sit down with Ray Baartz, Phil Stubbins, the coaching and administrative staff and review the changes and personnel needed to take the club forward, including looking at my position and putting together plans for 2015/16."