Heskey's Australian adventure in jeopardy as Newcastle Jets issued with winding up order
14:47 GMT, 14 December 2012
So soon Emile Heskey's time at the Newcastle Jets could be over
Emile Heskey faces an uncertain future after his Australian side the Newcastle Jets were issued with a winding-up order this week.
The Australian Taxation Office is chasing unpaid taxes of approximately 1.76million from Nathan Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group, which owns the Jets and NRL club the Newcastle Knights.
Heskey moved to the club in the summer which resulted in much fanfare, with many suggesting his move, and that of Alessandro del Piero to Sydney FC, would put the A-League on the map.
The former England international, 34, signed a one-year deal with the A-League club and has scored five goals in 11 appearances.
But federal court documents filed in Sydney on Wednesday revealed Australia's Deputy Commissioner of Taxation had applied for the winding-up order with a hearing date reportedly set for February 20.
In a statement on the Jets website they claimed the ATO would be paid in full before that date and that it remained 'business as usual'.
Despite that Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop has met with senior officials for Tinkler, a Singapore-based mining magnate, over the past two days to ensure the club's viability.
Happy days: Heskey was scoring at a decent rate in Australia but unforeseen circumstances could curtail his time there
The Jets' tax bill is reportedly less than half of the total amount owing with Gallop hopeful a repayment schedule can be agreed.
'The FFA has been given assurances by Hunter Sports Group, owner and operator of the Newcastle Jets, that the club's operations will not be affected,' Gallop told The Australian.
It had been alleged some payment to the Knights players had been missed but members from the Jets, who suffered a fourth defeat in five games 3-0 at Perth Glory today, confirmed they have so far been paid in full.
Poster boys: Shinji Ono, Heskey, and Alessandro Del Piero
'We've just got to go out there and do our best, and things will either work out or won't,' stand-in captain Ruben Zadkovich said.
'I don't think the Newcastle Jets are in any danger at the moment.'
Meanwhile Perth Glory owner Tony Sage has given up hope of luring David Beckham to Australia following a chance meeting with the former England captain in London this week.
Sage bumped into Beckham at the premier of the Spice Girls-inspired stage show 'Viva Forever' at London's O2 Arena and revealed he had been rebuffed when asked if a move Down Under was possible.
Viva Forever: David Beckham with his family at the launch of the musical based on the Spice Girls
'I got the chance to chat to David, and of course I asked him about coming to Australia,' Sage, who was a guest of Spice Girl Mel B, told footballaustralia.com.au.
'He looked me in the eye and basically said, “That would be nice, but it's too far away from my businesses”.
'It would have been great to have him at Perth Glory, but it looks like that won't be happening. I just don't think he'll be coming to Australia, full stop.'
Triumphant days: Beckham enjoyed a successful time with LA Galaxy
Beckham is looking for a new club after calling time on his five-year stay with the Los Angeles Galaxy last month.
Beckham's announcement came days after the Football Federation of Australia claimed it was in talks with the 37-year-old's representatives about the possibility of him signing a short-term deal to play in the A-League.
Despite those claims being almost immediately rubbished by Beckham and his agent, Sage and a number of Australian clubs had retained an interest in trying to sign the veteran midfielder.