SO let's get this straight.
Football Federation Australia was happy to gamble an estimated $45 million (government-subsidised, admittedly) on a World Cup bid that may or may not pay dividends more than a decade down the track.
Likewise, Australia's governing body was quite content to spend $2 million per annum, plus bonuses, for the next four years on a Socceroos coach most people had never heard of.
Not forgetting that over the past five years it has regularly propped up or taken control of various A-League franchises who have fallen on tough times.
But how deep it is willing to dig to rescue the Newcastle Jets remains to be seen.
Since it emerged on Monday that Jets players have not been paid because club owner Con Constantine finds himself in a sticky financial situation, FFA officials have shed little light on their intentions and refused to answer media questions.
Their only public comments have been in the form of emailed statements, such as this one yesterday from A-League chief executive Lyall Gorman: "Communication is ongoing with Newcastle Jets FC to assist with the present issues the club is facing.
"FFA remains in the process of understanding the issues but we have every confidence the match will go ahead on Sunday. FFA has no further statement at this time."
Given FFA's circle-the-wagons reaction, the only available information is the version of events outlined by Jets management - that the club asked for help to deal with a cash-flow shortfall but found it less than forthcoming.
Constantine has insisted he does not want "a handout", just an advance on an FFA grant or a loan.
"I have never before asked the FFA for a cent," he said.
The FFA is entitled to do its due diligence.
It is perhaps concerned, given his track record, that Constantine is trying to shame FFA with brinkmanship and using his players as pawns.
It is possibly wary about applying a Band-Aid to what may prove to be a gaping wound, or throwing good money after bad.
And FFA may also be strapped for cash.
But the bottom line is this simple.
FFA needs the Newcastle Jets as much as Newcastle Jets need FFA.
The Jets are one of only three teams - along with heavyweights Sydney and Melbourne Victory - to have won an A-League championship.
They have made the finals in four of the A-League's previous five seasons.
In all but the 2008-09 campaign, when they finished last, they have been competitive against clubs who spent vastly more on their rosters.
That success has cost Constantine an estimated $15 million - an expensive hobby, even for a a self-made multimillionaire.
Wealthy he may be, but Constantine has reached breaking point.
There was always a chance this day would come, especially given his frustration over the unique ground-sharing arrangement at EnergyAustralia Stadium, by which the Newcastle Knights have a stranglehold on match-day income.
Now Con needs a hand.
Many will have little sympathy for him.
What comes around goes around, they will argue.
But unless FFA has some other cashed-up benefactor willing to write off $2 million a year, give or take, then Constantine remains its best option.
The only alternative is to allow the Jets to fold, as did KB United, Adamstown Rosebud and Newcastle Breakers before them.
That would not only be a tragedy for one of Australia's footballing strongholds, it would be a mortal blow to the A-League's credibility.
If the Jets disappear into extinction, then FFA should hang its head in shame.