Friday, March 20, 2009

Newcastle Debts

In general, A-League clubs have been lauded for demonstrating a professionalism in their business operations that was sadly lacking in domestic football during the NSL years. Every generalisation has an exception, though, and at the moment that exception is the Newcastle Jets. A while back I wrote an article highlighting the contempt that Jets owner Con Constantine seems to have for fans, players, and sound business ethics.

Most recently, this has manifested itself in the Professional Footballers Association alleging that the club owes unpaid superannuation and bonuses to its entire playing staff. Keeper Ante Covic has left the club to sign for Elfsborg in Sweden, citing unpaid super as one of his many gripes with the club. Con's take on the matter is that Covic used the pay dispute as an excuse, running to the PFA "like a little boy to his mother." The PFA holds that this sort of disrespect regarding player payment and contracts is more or less par for the course at the Jets, with Constantine guilty throughout his history with football clubs of rather lax ethical standards in his dealings with players. How this turns out is anyone's guess, but it must be a source of endless frustration for Jets fans.

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