Cash-strapped Newcastle Jets have been rescued by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler, who will fund the club through the rest of the A-League season and possibly beyond.
FFA confirmed Tinkler would take control of the financially-troubled club from long-term owner Con Constantine after the latter's owner's license was withdrawn.
The FFA hope Tinkler will acquire the club's licence in the long term after agreeing to run it for the rest of the 2010-11 season after a rescue plan put forward by Constantine was rejected.
"We have signed an agreement with Nathan Tinkler which secures the club's participation for this season,'' said FFA chief executive Ben Buckley in a statement. Ever since our first discussion I could tell that Nathan was an extremely proud Novacastrian and I welcome his involvement in football.
"Starting immediately we will be working with Nathan to broaden the support base of the club and engage the entire football and business community of the Hunter region in a campaign to secure its future in the Hyundai A-League for years to come. We are very hopeful that the fans and the local business community will demonstrate their commitment to the Club and lead to Nathan taking out the licence on a long-term basis."
Tinkler said his aim was to save the club for the people and the development of the game in the region.
"My family and I have been supporters of the Newcastle Jets for years and we are delighted to be able to step in and support the club for the City of Newcastle," Tinkler said. "I have no desire to own a football club but provide a nursery for the development of the game for the thousands of young football players in the Hunter region. "I urge all of the Hunter community to get behind the Jets and show their support by showing up for the games and becoming members of the club. We are keen to get as many sponsors on board as possible. Newcastle deserves a top class A-League team and we are keen to help rebuild the club for the city. I have faith in the A-League and the concept of the national competition and I expect Newcastle will play a big role in that future."
Buckley recognized the contribution of Constantine to the club since it inception and said it is regrettable that he could no longer maintain his ownership of the Jets.
"Con has been the key figure in the establishment of a proud and successful club with the high point being its premiership win in 2008. He has been a tremendous supporter of football in this country for many years and he has thrown his heart and soul into the game and the Newcastle Jets. I would like to thank him on behalf of the football community for all that he has done over the years. I would also like to thank the players, staff and fans of the Newcastle Jets for their patience during the past couple of weeks."