STRIKER Francis Jeffers has parted ways with the Newcastle Jets after saying the club reneged on an offer to extend his stay in the city.
Jeffers, one of eight players off contract, met with management yesterday and was told he was not in the club’s plans for next season.
‘‘I’m disappointed and a bit stunned, to be honest,’’ Jeffers told the Herald last night.
‘‘I sat down with the club two weeks ago and was close to agreeing to a contract. There were a couple of little things in there I wanted and it did not seem to be a problem.
‘‘Obviously today I have been informed the contract is no longer there.
‘‘I’m disillusioned as to what has happened in the past two weeks from walking out of that office.’’
‘‘ ... Having seen what has happened over the past two weeks it would be fair to say that the people running the club have lost my respect.’’
Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby confirmed that the club had held talks with Jeffers but insisted the striker had not been promised anything.
‘‘There were discussions a couple of weeks ago, but nothing was formally tabled,’’ Middleby said.
‘‘Management and the coaching staff have since met and decided he would not be offered a new deal. I appreciate he is upset, but I certainly haven’t acted dishonestly.’’
When asked if Jeffers had been made a verbal offer, Middleby said: ‘‘Not that I understand.’’
Hunter Sports Group chief executive Troy Palmer was unavailable for comment.
Jeffers stressed that it was the club’s prerogative to decide who they kept and let go but said they also had an obligation to be up-front.
‘‘It is not the first time I have had to deal with disappointment,’’ the well travelled former Premier League star said.
‘‘Maybe I am used to being in England where people are straight with you and tell you how it is. Nothing is ever done here until it is done. Until you have that contract signed, you can’t take anyone’s word.
‘‘If the club didn’t want me, just tell me. Tell me that two weeks ago and I shake everyone’s hand, give them a kiss and say I have enjoyed my time here.’’
Jeffers, wife Lucy and daughter Ruby will return to Liverpool on Monday.
‘‘It is a shame I’m moving on because I really enjoyed my time here,’’ he said.
Jeffers said he had received interest from another A-League club and would like to return to Australia.
‘‘I’ll go back to England, have a decent break with the family and re-evaluate,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t think people have seen the best of me in Australia.
‘‘I have played well in patches but I have not had a pre-season. I have turned up in the middle of the season and been expected to produce.’’
Brazilian defender Tiago is the only overseas player on the Jets’ books for next season, leaving up to four places to fill.
Englishman Michael Bridges has held preliminary talks with the club, but Korean defender Byun Sung-hwan and Kiwi striker Jeremy Brockie are expected to leave.