The stakes are set to be raised again in the ongoing battle between the Newcastle Jets and their five sacked senior A-League players.
It is understood Kew Jaliens, Joel Griffiths, Billy Celeski, Adrian Madaschi and David Carney want to return to training as early as this weekend unless the club agrees to the mutual termination of their contracts and the payment of their full entitlements, including superannuation.
Exiled defender Madaschi did exactly that on Friday, attending the team’s first session since the 7-0 mauling against Adelaide United last week.
He completed gym work separate from the main group, who were put through their paces by under-fire coach Phil Stubbins and youth coach Jimmy Pascoe.
The case of Carney, who was axed for disciplinary reasons, is being handled separately from the other four.
Carney has been handed a breach notice by the club suggesting he broke a “three strikes” policy.
“The PFA stance is these five players still remain contracted players at the Newcastle Jets,” Professional Footballers’ Association boss Adam Vivian said.
“We have seen no formal written correspondence in relation to anyone with the exception of David Carney and, in the case of David Carney, our position is that our lawyers are currently reviewing the breach notice David received.”
Meanwhile, former Jets premiership winner and PFA vice-president Ante Covic has savaged the club’s actions, labelling them damaging to the game in Australia.
“They are extremely disturbing, football is already a very precarious career and this type of behaviour is hugely damaging to Australian football,” Covic said.
“There is no place for this type of behaviour in the A-League. This damages the reputation of the game in Newcastle and across the country.”