New Western Sydney coach Carl Robinson has made no apologies for taking advantage of an out clause in his Newcastle contract to leave the financially embattled Jets to take charge of the “biggest club in Australia”.
The Wanderers on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Robinson just eight months after the Welshman took over the Jets.
Despite signing a three-and-a-half year deal with the Jets, Robinson had a clause in his deal that allowed him to consider other offers.
And when the Wanderers – who parted ways with Jean-Paul de Marigny on Monday – came knocking, the former Vancouver Whitecaps manager had little hesitation in signing a three-year deal with the former AFC Asian League Champions League winners.
Following Robinson from the Jets to the Wanderers will be his assistant coach, ex-Celtic and Rangers striker Kenny Miller.
“It was difficult (to leave Newcastle) because I’d built some very good relationships … but there was an agreement in place prior to me coming over from (American) Major League Soccer,” Robinson said.
“I could talk to football clubs if an opportunity arose, whether that be here in Australia or back in Major League Soccer.
“That’s agreement was in place and that’s why we’re here (at the Wanderers).
“I’ve moved on and now my objective is to get to know these guys, find out what makes them tick on a personal level and then on a playing level, and then I’ll push them hopefully to limits that they’ve not quite been at the moment to, and the add with the additions of some younger player and new arrivals to try to get that success that we all crave.”
Robinson said the Jets financial problems were a factor in him leaving.
“Was it the main reason? No. Was it a reason? Yes,” he said.
“But I’m joining the biggest club in Australia, and when you get that opportunity, and that comes calling, you don’t say no.”
Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna said “circumstances out of our control” led to the Wanderers making offers to Robinson and Miller.
McKinna said the Jets had survived for a year without money from the club’s owner Martin Lee, and the departures of Robinson and Miller would ease some financial pain.
He was confident of a new owner was on the verge of taking over the Jets.
“The new owner I would think would be in very soon. FFA are keen to make that happen,” McKinna said.
He said once fresh ownership was in place, a new Jets coach would be appointed.
“It’s not going to be hard to attract new coaches,” he said.