COMMENT: Who is ultimately to blame for the mire Newcastle Jets finds itself in presently? Certainly not the football fans of Newcastle!
In the last week there have been desperate pleas from certain directions asking Novocastrians to come out to last Friday's game against Perth Glory to show FFA and others that the people of this great football heartland want their A-League team to survive. That is an insult. Football fans in this part of Australia have shown their love and support of our game for decades and to be begged to come out in the time of need for the Jets is way off the mark.
There are many reasons why the Newcastle Jets are in trouble. Blame can be leveled at any number of parties; the Club owner has tipped in many millions of dollars but that does not excuse him from poor management and disenfranchising Club from the most passionate supporter base in Australia; the poor stadium deal that Jets suffer from; the bad decision from FFA at inception of the A-League to hand license to a cheque book President instead of the more successful and less risky multi ownership models like Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart.
The common excuses such as the well worn low dividends from FFA's television deal do not wash. Everyone who invested in the Ownership of A-League clubs knew that there were limited revenues from television for the first 7 or 8 years until free to air became available in 2013.
The truth is a lot of clubs including the Jets have been very poor at running their business and have not built their business from ground up. The shinning example of how to build a club is down the road from the Jets in the Mariners. Only this week a well known Newcastle business threw over $300,000 into sponsorship of the Mariners grass roots program. Why did that not go to the Jets? Simple, because the Mariners chase the community support hard and the Jets don't!
So blame the owner, blame the FFA, blame the weather but don't blame the fans!