JETS INSIDER -Robbie Middleby

In this week’s edition of Insider, Jets CEO Robbie Middleby answers questions submitted by the Club’s Members and supporters.

In this week-s edition of Insider, Jets CEO Robbie Middleby answers questions submitted by the Club-s Members and supporters.

Middleby addresses a number of topics including the possibility of a marquee signing, the appointment of David Gallop as FFA CEO and the next television deal for the A-League.

@DaveBriant96 asks via Twitter: Will there still be any news on a marquee?

Robbie Middleby (RM): There have been some names that we-ve looked at, but when you-re paying that sort of money, the player has got to be commercially viable as well making a significant impact on the field.

It-s got to be the right fit for the Club and our Members and supporters but it-s always something we-ll look into.

Sue Wall asks via email: What are your thoughts on the appointment of David Gallop as the new CEO of the FFA?

RM: I think it is a positive step for the game. He has a very good track record with the NRL as a sports administrator.

It-s a crucial period for football in this country with the Asian Cup coming up in 2015. Leading into that we need to make sure we have the right person at the helm and by all reports, David Gallop should do a good job.

Alex Michaels asks via email: The NRL and AFL have finalised their TV deals, what sort of TV deal are you hoping the FFA will be able to secure and how important is it to get coverage of the A-League on free-to-air TV?

RM: For every A-League Club, the ultimate goal is that the TV deal will be able to cover the salary cap of each Club. I think we-re heading towards that, but if we don-t get there it will be disappointing.

Getting free-to-air coverage is something that has come up at all the CEO and owners meetings that I have been to. Even if it is a small component, there has to be some component on free-to-air TV to get the A-League that extra coverage and exposure to help take it to the next level.

@RickiiT asks via Twitter: Have the Newcastle Jets thought about signing Joel Griffiths or Song Jin Hyung from a few years back?

RM: Gary and I both keep in touch with Joel, but at the moment he is under contract with Shanghai Shenhua.

There are a lot of factors that come in to play for Joel to come back. The timing would have to be right in terms of him being in out of contract and us looking to sign a player. Also there is a big difference in the money he-s earning in China compared to what he could earn here.

Song has a three-year contract in South Korea so he isn-t an option for us right now.

@LukeD01_JBaus asks via Twitter: Why do you only sign players on one or two year contracts? For example, James Brown will attract interest from overseas clubs.

RM: One and two year contracts are pretty stock-standard among all the A-League Clubs. It gives the Club and the player flexibility. When a new player comes to the Jets, we want to know that they-re suited to the culture of the Club, the city of Newcastle itself and so on.

A lot of the time after six months, negotiations can start happening for the longer term anyway. It-s a situation where we-ve had before, like we did last year with Taylor Regan, where if a player is doing well in the first six months of their contract they can be renewed for a longer period as well.

@moxey25 Have you got any squad numbers confirmed yet?

RM: Yes we have. We plan to make an announcement on it soon.

@PV4za_newy asks via Twitter: There is a Jets trial game on the date of the NBN State League grand final - brain fart on your guys behalf?

RM: We did flag this clash with Sydney FC when we were planning this trial game. However, because it is their Members- launch and the only day and time which they could play us, it was something we didn-t have a lot of control over.

While we didn-t want to take anything away from the NBN State League competition, it is very difficult to line-up A-League opposition for trial matches so unfortunately the games are on the same day.

Tom Walsh asks via email: What are your thoughts on the way the Jets have played in pre-season so far?

RM: We always knew it was going to take some time for some of these young players that we-ve brought to the Club to settle in and play the style that Gary wants.

We-ve got a long-term strategic plan for these players and from what we-ve seen in pre-season it is slowly starting to come together. I-m sure in the future some of these players will be representing the Socceroos.

William Aguilar asks via email: Which of the new boys at the club are you looking forward to seeing play most?

RM: I know it-s a cliché not to single anyone out, but I-m honestly looking forward to watching all of them play. They-re all exciting players with their own different attributes and we-re looking forward to them playing their role throughout the season.

Tom Hansen asks via email: How do you think having the Club-s young players going away for Young Socceroos camps and tournaments and will affect the Club during the season?

RM: It will be fantastic for those boys to get the international experience in the AFC U-19 Championship and other tournaments overseas.

The only unfortunate thing about it from our point of view is that we-ll lose these players at different points during the season due to training camps that have been scheduled while the A-League season is on. I think that is an area the FFA can have a closer look at.

It-s hard to say whether or not having those players available will be detrimental to our season, but it will definitely test the depth of the squad.

For next week-s Jets Insider interview Michael Bridges will answer YOUR questions. Simply tweet your question using the #JetsInsider hashtag or send your question to communications@huntersportsgroup.com by COB Wednesday. Then check back in Jets Insider next week to see if your question is answered.