Tinkler companies hit by technology blackout

THE remaining Hunter-based Tinkler Group companies, including the Newcastle Jets, went into a technology blackout this week with emails and some websites going down.

Newcastle Jets commercial director Mark Duffield-Thomas was forced to set up a temporary Gmail account to send out a media alert on Thursday announcing that the struggling A-League club’s chief executive Robbie Middleby and chairman Ray Baartz had resigned.

The Jets naming-rights sponsor,  Nathan Tinkler’s Castle Quarry Products, was also uncontactable by email and its website has been pulled down.

News of the technology problem comes as Jets management enter their sixth month of searching for a new owner for the club after embattled owner Mr Tinkler decided to sell.

The  Newcastle Herald reported in November that Castle Quarry Products had been locked out of its sandmine due to unpaid debts.

Emails to Patinack Farm, controversial Newcastle developer Buildev and its construction arm Bolkm all bounced back on Thursday with a message from internet provider 7sq, which merged with Reddog Technology some time ago.

When asked initially if the Jets had paid the provider’s bill, Mr Duffield-Thomas said he would look into the issue.

‘‘I can’t comment on the bill situation or issues to do with the wider group,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a bill that would go to the Tinkler Group, our emails are just down at the moment and we are using Gmail.’’

He called back a short time later and said the problems with the Jets’ emails was because the club was changing IT providers and he could still not comment on the wider group.

The Newcastle Jets’ website, hosted by Football Federation Australia, is still running.

Reddog Technology did not return the Herald’s call on Thursday.

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