- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SYDNEY (AP) - Football Federation Australia has terminated the Newcastle Jets’ A-League operating license hours after financially troubled owner Nathan Tinkler placed the club into voluntary administration with debts of 2.7 million Australian dollars ($2.14 million).

Tinkler said Wednesday that a sale to Scottish club Dundee United for A$5 million ($3.95 million) was expected, but added the sale hinged on whether FFA revoked his ownership license over financial issues, including lapsed player payments.

Tinkler says “we have had an offer in for a couple of weeks … well in excess of the debts of the club that will see everyone get paid.”

But FFA said later Wednesday that a license would be issued to a new entity owned and controlled by FFA, and that Newcastle’s players will be offered new contracts.

“FFA has taken this action to protect the interests of the football community in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, and to safeguard the image and reputation of the A-League and its member clubs,” said FFA chief executive David Gallop.

The statement said the team’s owners “behaved in a deplorable way towards the players and staff of the club in failing to meet basic obligations to pay wages. Anyone who takes control of a sporting club has an obligation to respect the people and the traditions of that club.”

The Jets finished in last place in the 10-team league and several players left during the season over pay disputes.

Tinkler, 39, is a former mining magnate and businessman from the Newcastle region north of Sydney. He also had a large stable of racehorses until financial difficulties forced him to sell many of his assets.

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