5 Oct 2011

Sacking overshadows A-league launch

7:12 am on 5 October 2011

Newcastle's sensational sacking of coach Branko Culina overshadowed the launch of the highly-anticipated new A-League football season as drama surrounding the club's signing of his injured Socceroos son Jason came to a head.

The Jets dropped a bombshell on the league, and the Culina family, yesterday afternoon by announcing they had terminated Branko's five-year coaching contract immediately and signalled their intent to have midfielder Jason Culina's three-year marquee deal "set aside".

The announcement came just four days out from the 2011/12 season and little more than an hour after Branko had attended the A-League's official season launch in Sydney.

The Jets did not reveal the reasons behind the sacking of the coach, though there are suggestions the club may have thought Culina knew more than he let on about the nature of his son's injury before he was signed on a deal reportedly worth 3.3 million dollars.