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Mariners CEO Comes Clean With Club Members About Loss Of Matt Millar To Jets

Central Coast Mariners CEO, Shaun Mielekamp, after contacting Newcastle Jets CEO, Lawrie McKinna and Operations Manager, Joel Griffiths, released to Mariners Members via their Facebook Group, exactly what happened in the lead up to the Jets announcing they’d signed fullback Matthew Millar.

It’s Australian Football’s understanding that the Mariners were seething after learning of Millar’s move to the Jets next season.

The Central Coast A-League Club signed Millar from the NPL. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, they were prepared to offer the fullback an enticing contract extension which would have been more than double his current earnings.

The post from Mielekamp went as follows:

After plenty of speculation, on behalf of the club I would like to keep our Members informed, in light of today’s media release from Newcastle Jets.

Immediately following the Newcastle Jets’ press release today where the Club said they “advised the Mariners of his intention to negotiate via email following 1 December” and that “Joel [Griffiths] was completely transparent with the Mariners” I contacted Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna and Joel Griffiths to discuss and clarify what had transpired.

Following the conversation, the Jets have since provided me with an email that was sent from Joel Griffiths to a former employee of the Central Coast Mariners on the 27th of December. The former employee was not working at the Mariners a the time this email was sent as he had resigned on the 20th of November. This email is the only correspondence that the Newcastle Jets sent to anyone at Central Coast Mariners and the Jets were unaware that the staff member was no longer working for the Mariners.

The result of this is that the Central Coast Mariners had no knowledge that the Newcastle Jets were in formal negotiations with Matthew Millar at the time when Matt confirmed that he had signed with Newcastle. While Lawrie McKinna has confirmed he met with Matthew Millar on the 28th of December this was a social meeting with person friends present and not a formal negotiation, the formal negotiations were being handle by Joel Griffiths.

From a Mariners point of view, we also want to ensure Members know that Mike Mulvey had been in dialogue with Matt Millar for months prior – to ensure that he knew we wanted him to stay at the Mariners beyond this season and were preparing our best possible offer. Mike also met with Matt immediately after hearing that he had met with Lawrie to discuss their catch up. Unfortunately, upon making our offer, we were informed that Matt had signed with the Newcastle Jets. We were left with no opportunity to counter offer which is common practice in football contract negotiations.

I appreciate this co-operation of Lawrie and Joel in clarifying this andd encourage all fans of both clubs to focus on the remainder of the season. For reference I have spoken and shown this post to Lawrie already to ensure there is no conjecture.

I hope that this answers many of the questions our members want answers to. The important things now is to focus on the game this weekend and give our boys every chance of getting the points this Saturday.

Shaun Mielekamp, CEO, Central Coast Mariners

The Central Coast Mariners are at home to Melbourne Victory this Saturday, 2 February, 5.35pm kick-off.

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Brian Gibson is the Founder of Australian Football and former digital marketer at Football Federation Australia.