Owner of the Newcastle Jets Football Club Con Constantine has stated that he is happy for his day in court after the Newcastle Knights Rugby League officials lodged a winding up application in the Supreme Court over arrears that have been outstanding since March on the use of Energy Australia Stadium and are said to incorporate the clubs Asian Champions League fixtures and the A League campaign. The sum in dispute is reported to be in the realm of $300,000.
The two clubs have been butting heads of the ground sharing agreement for several years, with the Knights having the major lease agreement on the government owned stadium and sub-letting it to the Jets.
Construction has been taking place at the stadium in the past A league season, and it is believed the Jets asked for that to be taken into account in terms of what they should pay, yet with the Knights reportedly in a tight financial position with accumulated losses of more than $2.5million they will want every dollar they can.
What is regrettable is seeing two codes going head to head in court. These issues should have been – and in fact may have been – agreed prior to the season to avoid such a confrontation that will harm both clubs and both sports.