ALL business models - including the possibility of community ownership - will be considered on their merits after last week's temporary takeover of the Newcastle Jets.
The Jets have been under new management for the past nine days, after Chinese businessman Martin Lee had his franchise licence terminated because he was unable, or unwilling, to address the club's spiralling debts.
A group of A-League club owners have stepped in to bankroll the Jets for an indefinite interim period, in the hope of initially stabilising the club before searching for a long-term solution.
Since the A-League's foundation season, the Jets have been privately owned by wealthy individuals, as is the case with countless sporting franchises around the world.
But according to the club's new executive chairman, Shane Mattiske, all options are on the table in a quest to find the "best fit" for Newcastle.
Asked specifically about community ownership, he was hopeful "local interests" would be part of the new governance structure.
"We're certainly not fixed in our outlook," Mattiske told the Newcastle Herald.
"When we think about ownership, we're happy to look at different models.
"That's not a commitment to a community-ownership model, but that's one option we'd be happy to explore, along with a range of other options.
"It's not a model that's been proven in the Australian market, but that's not to say we wouldn't consider it, along with other alternatives. Nothing has been ruled out."
Mattiske said the incumbent ownership group were in no rush to offload the franchise.
"It's still week one, so only early days," he said.
"Our focus at the moment is stability. In time we'll turn our attention to the ownership model, but there is already recognition that the ideal scenario is to have an element of local ownership, if it's not totally locally owned."
The Newcastle Knights were effectively community-owned for the first 23 years of their existence, before Nathan Tinkler's 2011 takeover.
The Knights won two premierships during that era but also faced a constant battle to keep their financial liabilities under control.
After Tinkler's demise in 2014, a high-profile group launched the "Our Knights One Chance" campaign, aiming to sell 40,000 shares at $500 apiece, to raise a proposed $20 million nest egg.
Support was lukewarm, in part because the NRL's obvious preference was for the Wests Group to take over.
Appointing a permanent coach is the priority for the Jets' new ownership group.
Meetings were held in Sydney yesterday to discuss who would be responsible for choosing a coach.
It is understood a panel will be appointed who are able to make a decision independent of the owners, to avoid any suggestions of conflict of interest.
It is expected that Lawrie McKinna, who was CEO of the Lee-owned Jets, and football manager Joel Griffiths will have input into the appointment.
Interviews could start as early as next week.
Craig Deans, who has been Newcastle's caretaker coach since the controversial departure of Carl Robinson to Western Sydney Wanderers in October, will be one candidate on the short list.
Young Socceroos coach Gary van Egmond is also understood to have expressed interest in returning to the Jets for what would be his third stint in the hot seat.