Tinkler puts Newcastle Jets up for sale

Nathan Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group has confirmed its intention to offload the Newcastle Jets and its A-League licence.

Tinkler, who recently cut ties with his NRL outfit the Newcastle Knights, will continue to underwrite the Jets until the sale is complete.

The Hunter club is the latest casualty of the entrepreneur’s dwindling sports empire as he prepares to relinquish his racehorse interests.

A statement from the Jets on Friday said the club "continues to retain the full support of Football Federation Australia (FFA) as a key team in the Hyundai A-League and the fundamentals of the club are good with strong member, community and corporate support". 

Newcastle Jets CEO Robbie Middleby added: "We have been in discussions with HSG for some time about bringing in additional investment in and this process will now be expedited.

“Until the change of ownership is complete, we will continue to execute our plans in preparation for the 2014/15 season.

“The club has been rebuilt since 2010 and we now have a solid foundation from which to grow.

“We look forward to securing new owners and moving forward with this new chapter.”

It is not the first time Tinkler has tried to offload the club.

Faced with mounting fnancial problems, he attempted to hand back the A-League licence in 2012. A looming stoush with football's governing body was eventually averted after face-to-face talks between Tinkler and FFA chairman Frank Lowry.

Friday's 'business as usual' message comes as the club attempts to turnaround four disappointing seasons during which the club failed to reach the A-League playoffs.

The FFA released a brief statement on Friday regarding the sale.

“Football Federation Australia (FFA) has previously noted comments from Nathan Tinkler regarding the ownership of the Newcastle Jets,” an FFA spokesperson said.

“FFA continues to have regular positive dialogue with the Newcastle Jets about operational and business matters.

“FFA is comfortable with the Newcastle Jets’ plans for the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season and beyond.”