Papas hoping Jets can land new owners and give them a transfer boost

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With the January transfer window drawing closer, Newcastle Jets coach Arthur Papas needs new “ambitious owners” to help secure fresh talent for the club.

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This season has been a challenging one for Newcastle so far, with the club currently sitting 10th on the ladder after suffering defeat at the hands of Central Coast Mariners on Wednesday.

Wednesday night marked the Jets’ fifth defeat out of the eight games they have played in this season.

“It was a disappointing night,” Papas said.

“We [weren’t] at our best, and [the Mariners were] at their best. And in the end, that’s the outcome of the game.”

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While the club has struggled to maintain consistency in performance this season, Papas insists that the competition this season is still an even playing field for all clubs.

“The reality of the league is that it’s very tight,” the Newcastle coach remarked.

“You could be last place and you could be fourth place within one game.”

This reality can be observed in the ladder with only four points separating the Jets from the top three teams.

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With the competition being this close, many coaches are looking into different avenues to improve their squads and get the edge over the opposition.

For Papas, this could include recruiting new players during the January transfer window.

“We need to possibly look into the market in [January],” he said.

“Everyone understands what our structure is, and the ability to make changes [to] improve the team in one or two areas. If that’s available to us, then that would make a big difference.”

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However, with there still being uncertainty around the ownership of the club, this may not be an option for the Jets.

Newcastle have been operating off of the support of investors from Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers and Western United for the last two years after Football Australia and the APL stripped the previous owner, Martin Lee, of his club licence.

While the support from rival ALM clubs have kept Newcastle afloat, it hasn’t been enough to help the team excel in the league.

“We’ve all got to be very grateful to the people that have actually kept this club alive,” Papas said.

“This club wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for some people that really care about the sport as a whole.

“[But] in the end, you want to thrive, not just survive.”

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It was last reported in April this year that an American consortium headed by Brett Johnson and Jordan Gardner were close to finalising ownership, but a deal still hasn’t been reached.

This delay in finding a new owner may lead to the Jets not being able to participate in the upcoming transfer market in January, putting the club at a disadvantage.

“There are teams below us [like] Perth Glory, who are actively signing possible Socceroo players. That means that they’re ambitious and they’ve got ambitious owners who really want to make a step up,” Papas commented.

“We want the same because that’s what I think our community and our people deserve.”

While the Jets may miss out on signing new players, Papas assures fans that the current squad can still go far this season.

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“[I’m] still really optimistic about what this group can do. That’s not going to change,” he said.

“I know that there are some areas that we can always get better at. Our job at the moment is to get the best out of this group, and they’re working hard, and I can only praise them.”

At any rate, Newcastle fans will have to hope that stability around the club’s ownership comes sooner instead of later.

Feature image credit: Sproule Sports Focus

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Jasmine Singh
Jasmine Singh
One of the two journalists covering the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners for the 2022/23 season. Studying a Bachelor of Media (Communications and Journalism) / Bachelor of International Studies at the University of New South Wales. A true crime addict and dog lover.

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