Home » Newcastle Jets to remain in A-League after securing fourth owner since 2000

Newcastle Jets to remain in A-League after securing fourth owner since 2000

The Newcastle Jets football club will remain in the A-League men’s and women’s competition, with the side officially locking down a buyer.

Maverick Sports Partners has acquired the club’s licence after an eight-month ownership hunt.

The group is led by sports administrator Maurice Bisetto, who helped establish Western United FC in 2018.

“The foundations are there to bring back the glory days of the Newcastle Jets,” Mr Bisetto said at an announcement in Newcastle on Tuesday.

He said the new owners had a strategy that would help the club achieve its key objectives of sustainability and success.

Maurice Bisetto (left) and Jets executive chairman Shane Mattiske.(ABC Newcastle: Carly Cook)

Australian Professional Leagues (APL) and Football Australia are due to conduct a fit-and-proper-person check and other regulatory measures for the sale.

History of ownership woes

The club has had a complex ownership history, with the new sale representing the fourth time the club has changed hands since it was founded in 2000.

The club’s first licence holder was Con Constantine, under whom the club won its first A-League title in the 2007-08 season.

Football Australia terminated his licence in 2010 after the club wasn’t able to meet financial obligations. 

A three-panel image of three middle-aged men.

Con Constantine (left), Nathan Tinkler (centre) and Martin Lee are previous owners.(Getty/AAP/ABC)

The licence was then taken over by former mining magnate Nathan Tinkler.

Mr Tinkler tried unsuccessfully to hand back the Jets’ licence in 2012 before placing the club into voluntary administration in 2015 after failing to pay wages to club staff and players.

Football Australia took over the licence temporarily until it was sold to Chinese businessman Martin Lee in 2016.

Football Australia and the Australian Professional Leagues terminated the club’s licence under Lee in January 2021 due to a failure to pay debts.

Almost immediately afterward, a new licence was issued to a consortium made up of a group of other clubs to temporarily bankroll the Jets and keep them in the A-League and A-League Women.

“[Maverick Sports Partners] can see the strength that exists here amongst our football community … and they see the opportunity to grow,” Jets executive chairman Shane Mattiske said on Tuesday.

“This club will now launch into a new era, a new era that will drive the growth of this club and drive the growth of football in this region.”

Legacy to continue

Jets veteran defender Jason Hoffman, who played his final game for the club in April, said he would remain with the club in an off-field role, particularly in player welfare.

a man wearing a newcatle jets soccer kit, Jason Hoffman, stands in the middle of a soccer pitch.

Jason Hoffman reflects before his 300th A-League game.(ABC Newcastle: Bridget Murphy)

“It’s a really positive day … where we can put the conversation about ownership to rest and we can look forward to hopefully what is a really engaging and bright future for the people in Newcastle,” he said.

“Hopefully, it’s a line in the sand moment where we can re-engage people to believe in the direction we’re going in.”

Women’s captain Cass Davis said it was exciting for the development of women’s football in regional Australia.

“I’m just loving chatting with Maurice about how much the new owners are going to support the women’s side in the club, as well as the men and the academy,” Davis said.

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