11 Apr 2012

A-League in turmoil after fresh blow

7:36 am on 11 April 2012

The A-League has been thrown into more turmoil by Football Federation Australia's rejection last night of a shock announcement by billionaire Nathan Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group to walk away from the Newcastle Jets, citing irreconcilable differences with the FFA.

Tinkler's announcement, which came just before the A-League's annual awards ceremony,

seriously threatens the governing body's hopes of a 10-team competition next season, and potentially its bargaining power for a new broadcast deal.

Only a few days ago the FFA announced it would bankroll a new western Sydney franchise from next season, having wielded the axe on Gold Coast United by stripping that club's billionaire owner Clive Palmer of his licence.

In Newcastle's case, the FFA's chief executive Ben Buckley saying Tinkler's group has no legal grounds to hand back the licence it holds until June, 2020.

Jets players were shocked by the announcement and Professional Footballers Australia says it wil be holding urgent talks with Nathan Tinkler to ensure all player contracts are honoured.