FFA chairman Frank Lowy has revealed he personally initiated a face-to-face meeting with Newcastle owner Nathan Tinkler in a bid to keep the Jets in the Hyundai A-League next season.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Frank Lowy has revealed he personally initiated a face-to-face meeting with Newcastle owner Nathan Tinkler in a bid to keep the Jets in the Hyundai A-League next season.
Newcastle's future in the competition had looked particularly grim over the last month after Tinkler's company, the Hunter Sports Group, handed the club's licence back to the FFA after incurring a significant financial loss last season.
The decision from Hunter Sports was also in protest at several perceived injustices after they had complained to FFA about the amount the Group had paid to take on the Jets licence and had issues surrounding insurance payments for injured marquee player Jason Culina.
But speaking to Eddie McGuire Tonight in a candid interview, Lowy revealed how he persuaded Tinkler to change his mind, with Hunter Sports Group announcing last week it would honour a contract to maintain the licence.
"I think life is about compromise," said Lowy.
"He had a beef about certain things and of course I compromised and he was happy that I got there.
"I knew he wanted to stay. If he would not have wanted to stay, it would have been a different story.
"(In) Newcastle, football is entrenched for many, many years. ... there's 10 to 12 thousand people who come to every game, so there is a game there that is needed.
"Tinkler needs Newcastle and Newcastle needs Tinkler so I took a different approach for him.
"Last weekend, I flew to Brisbane where he was working and I met him and we sorted it out.
"The people of Newcastle, he made a promise to them and they wanted him to keep that promise so lots of things happen around there and I get on famously with him now."
Lowy said Tinkler's willingness to stay in the game was the difference between him and fellow billionaire Clive Palmer, who saw his licence for Gold Coast United stripped off him towards the end of the Hyundai A-League season after a series of provocative stunts.
"Palmer didn't really want to stay in the game I don't think," said Lowy.
"Because he was vacillating, one week he was in, the next week he was out.
"He broke many rules and you've got to pull the shutter down sometimes," he said.