Newcastle Jets could be under new ownership earlier than expected, according to rumours Qantas is in talks with Nathan Tinkler to take over their A-League license.
Australia’s major airline has been a long-time servant to Australian football, having sponsored the Socceroos for almost a decade. With fears that last year’s failure to renew its sponsorship meant the airline wanted nothing more to do with the sport, it’s believed FFA CEO David Gallop will be eager to ensure the speculated deal comes to fruition.
Rumours suggest the Newcastle side will be aligned strategically Qantas’ low-cost airline, to cater for Newcastle’s poor median socio-economic status. An anonymous source told For Modern Football that the franchise will be undergoing a rebranding as part of this process, becoming the “Newcastle Jetstars” as of next season; “the name has already been copyrighted, and a Twitter account is being held… it is all but official.”
The Newcastle Jetstars will continue to play at Hunter Stadium, where Qantas will run free shuttle buses to and from Newcastle Airport in an attempt to target away fans and tourists whose flights are diverted from Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith Airport.
Our source reveals that the airline is keen to tap into the well-traveled A-League supporter market in a bid to revive flagging domestic sales.
“Qantas has seen first hand what the Wanderers fans can do, after their recent appearance at Sydney Airport, and we are hoping that we can tap into their lucrative away support market with this Newcastle acquisition.”
Leaked photos suggest that Qantas are planning on changing Newcastle’s colour scheme to orange, in line with Jetstar. Our anonymous source says the Jets are already in heated legal discussion with the Brisbane Roar about this proposition.
“Brisbane’s clear ethnic ties to Hollandia are blatantly advertised in their use of orange, and this should not be allowed,” the source said.
“The Jetstars, conversely, will be able to wear orange with pride, representing the business which backs the very foundations of our club and fills the players’ wallets…”
Although Qantas has recently suffered record losses, and amidst concerns regarding their inexperience operating a football club, it’s believed Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is confident his ability to handle a business “in the red” will provide invaluable experience for A-League ownership.
This will represent the A-League’s second takeover/rebrand in 2014, following Manchester City’s purchase of Melbourne Heart. The two clubs will first meet at AAMI Park on October 19, with fans already talking excitedly about the inaugural “11th Hour Bailout Derby”.