Jets in turmoil as Tinkler wields the axe

Newcastle Jets owner Nathan Tinkler has axed Assistant Coach Clayton Zane, Goalkeeper Coach Neil Young and Strength and Conditioning Coach Andrew Packer as the club cleanout gathers pace.

CEO Robbie Middleby and Chairman Ray Baartz have already been shown the door while the club is reeling from an exodus of key players.

Financially embattled owner, Nathan Tinkler, took the surprise decision to resume control of the Hunter outfit and has set about gutting the backroom.

Despite poor results under-fire coach Phil Stubbins continues in his post.

The club is languishing in ninth place on the A-League ladder and was handed a 7-0 humiliation at the hands of Adelaide United on the weekend.

Claims of a player revolt over Stubbins’ coaching style were denied by Professional Footballers Australia on Wednesday.

The PFA released a statement saying: “Despite what has been an extremely difficult season for all involved at the club the Jets playing squad has conducted itself in accordance with the highest possible standards of professionalism and the PFA completely rejects any comments to the contrary,” Chief Executive Adam Vivian said.

“Speculation that the players are considering industrial action is inaccurate.

“The players remain committed to honouring their contractual obligations to the Jets and expect the club to do the same.”

A club statement said the latest staff exodus was “part of the internal club review currently being conducted.

“The club wishes to thank all three coaches for their contribution and wish them all the best for the future. No further comment will be provided.”

Newcastle product and former interim head coach, Zane, was thrown in the deep-end following the sacking of Gary van Egmond last year and served for 12 weeks before being overlooked for the top post in favour of Stubbins.

Amid the deepening crisis the club has lost a raft of key players.

Out-of-favour goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has sought a loan move to Italy. Young attacker Andrew Hoole rebuffed efforts to keep him at Hunter Stadium while Marcos Flores, Sam Gallaway and Johnny Steele have also left. Midfielder James Virgili is out for two to three months with an ankle break sustained in training.