Football Federation Australia dumps Gary van Egmond

THE career of former Jets coach Gary van Egmond was in ruins last night after Football Federation Australia withdrew an offer for a $200,000-a-year position at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Van Egmond quit the Jets in controversial circumstances last month when he walked away from a four-year contract with the A-League club to accept a dual role as senior coach at the AIS and assistant coach of the Australian under-17s.

While van Egmond was to be employed by the AIS, FFA was to provide $120,000 of his $200,000 contract, which was to run until the end of 2012.

FFA officials insisted that van Egmond had assured them during the interview process that he was "unencumbered", but Jets owner Con Constantine vehemently disagreed and threatened to take legal action for breach of contract.

Constantine was also furious that FFA had poached his coach and had even negotiated with him on the eve of the Jets' Asian Champions League round-of-16 clash against Pohang in Korea, which they lost 6-0.

Constantine met FFA chief executive Ben Buckley last week and demanded compensation and the Jets had a further meeting with FFA on Thursday.

Jets chief executive John Tsatsimas confirmed last night that he had received a letter from the governing body late yesterday evening which stated that "in light of the matter involving Gary van Egmond and his departure from the Newcastle Jets the FFA has withdrawn their offer".

FFA head of corporate affairs Bonita Mersiades would not confirm last night that van Egmond had been sacked.

Van Egmond did not return calls from The Herald last night.

On June 30, The Herald quoted van Egmond as saying: "Everything I have done has been under instruction from them [FFA]."

Constantine said last night that van Egmond had made an 11th-hour plea to him for help yesterday.

It was the first time the pair had met since the coach resigned three weeks ago.

Constantine said van Egmond had been "seriously upset" and asking for help.

"He wanted to know if there was any way we could come to a compromise," Constantine said.

The multimillionaire owner sympathised with van Egmond but felt his fate was in the hands of FFA.

"I told him I was very disappointed with him, because he let me down and he let the club down badly," Constantine said. "I told him he had nobody to blame but himself.

"But if it is true that he has lost his job, I never wanted that to happen."

He said there was no way he could re-employ van Egmond if he was now looking for a job.

"I have already appointed a new coach and he's signed a contract. The club has moved on."

Constantine was "sad" and "stunned" about the turn of events.

"I never at any stage wanted to see Gary out of a job.

"If Ben Buckley wants to get rid of Gary, that's his decision, but I find it very disappointing.

"If it means this person has lost his job, that's not what I'm after."

The Jets will continue to seek compensation from FFA over van Egmond's departure.

"The bottom line is that someone had to pay, because this was wrong," Constantine said.

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