CEO explains frustration over fixture change


Robbie Middleby explains the Club’s disappointment over the rescheduling of its A-League game against Wellington Phoenix.

Dear Jets Members

I wish to personally write to you to outline the disappointment of the Jets coaching staff and management over the rescheduling of our A-League game against Wellington Phoenix from Saturday March 23 to Wednesday February 27 at Westpac Stadium.

This change to the A-League schedule has been brought about by a clash of dates with New Zealand’s World Cup qualifying games and the A-League draw.

As members I would like to make you aware of the irregularities of the transfer of our Wellington game, which provided us with the outcome of three games in nine days, two of those games travelling to New Zealand and Melbourne.

The short turn around and travel obviously dilutes the opportunity of professional preparation, training, recovery and treatment of niggling injuries.

We are aware from time to time with international sport there will be some anomalies that impact on schedules and individual clubs. We experienced this recently when five of our young players were selected in the Young Socceroos and missed three A-League games.

Our frustration is that the A-League schedule has not been amended in the past due to players representing their national teams.

The FIFA Match window was always March 22-26, 2013. We were advised Wellington communicated with the FFA about the challenge they would face to field a team due to New Zealand national team commitments last July.

The Jets were only contacted about this two weeks ago and any attempts to compromise, like transferring the game to Newcastle to avoid the travel, have been rejected.

Surely with open and transparent communication from the FFA, a window to transfer this game could have been identified earlier in the season and a reasonable and balanced outcome achieved.

Hopefully the FFA will acknowledge this point and ensure any conflicts with the FIFA International match periods is acknowledged in the scheduling of the season draw. If any problems with the draw are identified they should then immediately make contact with both clubs to provide a resolution in the best interest of the game.

The great thing about the entire Novocastrian region and its people is that when a challenge arises we all roll up our sleeves and tackle it head on together. This is an opportunity for our coaching staff and players to rise to the occasion and relish the challenge.

Robbie Middleby
Newcastle Jets CEO