On November 1 2004, Football Federation Australia (FFA) – the governing body for football in Australia – announced that the Newcastle United Jets (Newcastle Jets) was one of eight franchises to have successfully bid for a place in the freshly founded Hyundai A-League – the new top, fully professional division of football in Australia. Alongside foundation clubs from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Gosford, Brisbane, and Auckland (New Zealand), Newcastle’s bid had been given the privileged opportunity to represent the Northern New South Wales region – an area steeped in football history and tradition – in what would ultimately become one of the most exciting, engaging and rapidly growing sporting competitions in Asia.
Following the announcement of Newcastle’s fresh football franchise by FFA, the club – which had previously been competing in the National Soccer League (NSL) under the name Newcastle United – revealed a change to its title and crest. The addition of the word ‘Jets’ is in reference to the Royal Australian Air Force base located at Williamtown – just 25 kilometres from the club’s home ground of Hunter Stadium – and the alteration of the crest complete with three F/A-18 Hornets ensures that the club possesses unique, symbolic and iconic branding that distinctly sets it apart from rival Hyundai A-League clubs and can be used to effectively position itself in the football world.
On Tuesday 14 June 2016, it was announced that FFA had completed a 100 per cent sale of the club to Ledman Group, a leading high-tech LED signage manufacturer, operator and sports business headquartered in Shenzhen, China. Ledman Group's major shareholder is Mr Martin Lee. Ledman Group is valued at over one billion Australian dollars on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Ledman Group is an official partner of the Chinese Super League and China League (Division Two) and has a strategic partnership with the Chinese Football Association. In 2015 Ledman Group became a significant shareholder of Swiss-based Infront Sports and Media, the second biggest sports media company in the world. Please click here to visit the official Ledman Group website.
Management & Administration
Chairman & Owner: Martin Lee (Ledman Group)
Chief Executive Officer: Lawrie McKinna
Finance & HR Manager: Nicola Browne
Media Manager: Matt Townsend
Membership & Ticketing Manager: Sam Millar
Sponsorship Manager: Craig Williams
Community Liason Officer: Cassidy Davis
Office & Football Administrator: Brianna Egan
Head Coach: Ernie Merrick
Senior Assistant Coach: Clayton Zane
Assistant Coach: Qiang Li
International Football Manager: Rocky Liu
Youth Team Coaches: Lawrie McKinna & Labinot Haliti
Player Welfare Manager: Joel Griffiths
Team Manager: Brent Anderson
Physiotherapist: Justin Dougherty
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Chris Smith
Academy Technical Director: Michael Cooper
Academy Administrator: Dean Mayer