CHIEF executive Lawrie McKinna has received "interest from other parties" and remains hopeful of securing a buyer for the Newcastle Jets after talks with a Sydney businessman stalled.
The Jets appeared on course for a new owner last month after McKinna confirmed that Martin Lee had agreed to a price and a term sheet for the sale of the A-League club had been exchanged.
"It has been finalised from Martin's side. Now it has been given to their lawyers to go through," McKinna said. "All being well, I'm confident it would be done before the start of next season."
However, that was as far as the negotiations progressed.
"Unfortunately it has gone quiet on that front," McKinna told the Herald on Friday
The unnamed businessman was said to be a passionate football man and had spoken to coach Carl Robinson about the squad and the direction he wanted to take the club.
"He is a businessman and a football guy," McKinna said about the prospective owner. "He believes in the region and he believes in what the city and the club can do."
Talks with the Sydneysider had been ongoing since February. McKinna, although disappointed that the deal had stalled, remains optimistic.
"The other one has stalled but there are other interested parties which have come forward," he said. "I met with them over the last week. There has been information going back and forth but no term sheet at this point."
Any sale has to be approved by Football Federation Australia.
Lee, who bought the Jets from FFA for $5.5 million four years ago, has been looking to off load the club for 18 months after his business empire took a major hit.
Trade tariffs between the United States and China have impacted heavily on Lee's LED lighting company.
The Chinese government has also put in place restrictions on money being transferred out of the country.
Lee has poured $15 million in to the Jets and the club has around $2m in operational debts to clear this season.
After shutting down his Chinese club Ledman Shenzen, Lee knocked back an offer of $12 million for the Jets in 2019 and has since significantly reduced his funding of the club.
"Over the last few days, I have got Martin engaged again," McKinna said.
McKinna has previously held talks with groups from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, the UK and the US but said the latest entity was local.
"They are based in Australia," he said. "It is positive, but you have to start at the beginning again."
A-League clubs are also set to have their annual grant slashed after the broadcast deal with Foxtel was renegotiated in June. Instead of receiving $57m for another three seasons, FFA will pocket $32m for one season.
The reduced revenue will impact on the next collective bargaining agreement which is being negotiated between FFA, club owners and the players union.
"There is speculation that the distribution from FFA will be halved," McKinna said.
"They are still trying to work through that now. There will definitely be a change. We have 14 players under contract for next season. I think Sydney have 21 players signed. If there is going to be a reduction in the salary cap and a reduction in the grant, there will have to be some sort of compromise."
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