OUSTED Newcastle Jets owner Con Constantine has delivered an astonishing parting tirade at FFA boss Frank Lowy, accusing him of lying to him over the withdrawal of the club's football licence and saying Lowy was to blame for the current ills in the A-League.
Football Federation Australia announced at midday on Wednesday that Constantine would no longer run the A-League club and that 32-year-old multi-millionaire mining magnate Nathan Tinkler would be taking over for the rest of this season, with an option to extend into the future.
An emotional Constantine told a packed media conference that he was extremely disappointed in the handling of the matter on FFA's behalf and went as far as saying that Lowy had misled to him about certain details of the deal and that he felt had been 'stabbed in the back'.
"On Monday afternoon John (Jets CEO John Tsatsimas) and I went down and saw Frank Lowy, Ben Buckley, Lyall Gorman, and another gentleman and we went through the process of telling them that we had a major sponsor willing to come on board." Constantine said.
"And that whatever they were going to do for us it was going to be for the short term. It was not a handout I made that very clear.
"Frank Lowy, the chairman of FFA said to me ‘Con, we have got to do something because the FFA has no money'. I said, ‘Frank, if I go, what are we going to do with the club?' He said, 'I don't know, we will probably close it down'.
"This was Monday afternoon about four o'clock. I get a phone call from him the day after on Tuesday afternoon and he tells me, ‘We have a buyer'.
"I said ‘Frank, when did this buyer come across? Before midnight or after midnight, because I asked you twice yesterday did you have a buyer and you said, no.
"So absolutely (I feel stabbed in the back). If every other A-league club is getting propped up, why shouldn't the Jets do it?
"I looked at him and he told me ‘no, no, no and the next day it was ‘yes, yes, yes' so they have virtually lied straight to my face."
Constantine also accused Lowy of trying to stop the Jets boss talking to the media about the details of the meetings and their outcome and offering him an inducement for his silence.
"He said words to the effect, ‘If you go without making a lot of noise to the media, and John was there as my witness, that we will look after you with the Western Sydney club'.
"I said I am not interested. I am not interested in going to Western Sydney or anywhere else.
"I am very disappointed in the FFA. The FFA's attitude has been, ‘Because Con has got two dollars let him use his own money'.
"Personally I believe, every club in the A-League is suffering badly and for some unknown reason all the money has gone to the Socceroos and the A-League is suffering."
Constantine said that Lowy had to wear the blame for the woes which have engulfed the A-League this season and warned that the billionaire shopping centre owner would walk away from the game if Australia doesn't get the 2022 World Cup.
"Is it a case we blame Frank Lowy? I believe that if you are the captain of the ship and the ship is not travelling well then it is time to abort the ship and he is the Chairman of the Socceroos and the A-League," he said.
"How much damage has been down to the game? How much damage before the FFA realise and try to fix it?
"Frank Lowy's mission is to get the World Cup in 2022 and what if that doesn't happen? Frank Lowy will do one of two things: walk and walk. He has done it before. He shut his own club down."
Constantine said it wasn't the first time he had been lied to by FFA, and accused CEO Ben Buckley of misleading him over an incident with former Jets coach Gary van Egmond.
He said he would be happy to move a vote of no confidence in Buckley, Lowy and the FFA board.
"If I have any opportunity in the future to have a say, I will move a vote of no confidence in Frank Lowy, Ben Buckley and the board because they are not competent enough to know what is going on," Constantine said.
"Why should I find out from a journalist what is going on? What is wrong with Ben Buckley getting on the phone and ringing me or my CEO and letting us know?
"At the moment with the direction of the FFA football in this country is heading backwards.
"It is not about Newcastle here, every A-League club is suffering. If this model is good why is it failing? We are going to have a major disaster on our hands."
Constantine took time out to thank his staff, the city of Newcastle and Jets fans and said he had no ill feelings towards Tinkler for taking over the club.
"If the guy wants to spend some dollars good luck to him, I just want to see this team in the competition next year and the year after that and after that," he said.
However he said he will forever hold a grudge towards Lowy.
"Why I am so angry with Frank Lowy? Because I am hurt what has gone on here today," he said.
"He could have been a man and come up to me and say Mr Constantine, this is what to happen, but he didn't.
"Until I got phone call from a journalist today saying that Tinkler was going to run the club I had no idea at all.
"Frank Lowy should have the guts to say he has stuffed up. To this moment he still thinks the model is working - it is not working!"