Owner Nathan Tinkler says a desire to change the culture at the Newcastle Jets is behind the A-League strugglers' decision to sack five players.
In a statement released late Wednesday night the football club announced they had terminated the contracts of David Carney, Billy Celeski, Joel Griffiths, Kew Jaliens and Adrian Madaschi.
Carney's contract has been terminated for disciplinary reasons.
The others were due to expire at the end of the current season but the players will now leave the club immediately.
Tinkler claims the move is in the long term interests of his franchise and to improve the club culture for the young players who they believe are the future of the Jets.
Earlier on Wednesday, three members of the coaching staff were also told their services were no longer required.
The statement says the changes form part of the internal club review currently being conducted.
The bloodletting comes with Saturday looming as the key date in the ugly stand-off between Tinkler and Football Federation Australia.
As drama continues to engulf the club, January 31 could be the day that triggers FFA's contingency plan to strip mining magnate Tinkler of his licence and either sell it or run the club themselves.
FFA's hands are currently tied as the Jets are yet to breach their licence agreement.
However, Tinkler has been told by FFA he must meet certain financial obligations by Saturday, and if he doesn't - as many at the club are privately hoping - it could bring forward the governing body's plans to take control in Newcastle.
It's understood Scottish Premiership side Dundee United are still interested in a takeover of the Jets, although chairman Stephen Thompson recently baulked at Tinkler's $5 million asking price.