THE general manager of the Newcastle Jesters ice hockey club is in talks to leave the side as a wages delay continues.

Mike O'Connor has already had preliminary talks to replace Dave Simms, his opposite number at the Sheffield Steelers. He met one of the Yorkshire club's prospective new owners, Martin Jenkinson, at the weekend.

The Newcastle staff and players are still waiting for two months' wages from the club's owners, Fablon of London ,and its media arm, the Eye Group.

Meetings are set up between Eye Group chairman Graham Gutteridge and the Ice Hockey Players' Association to discuss this situation.

Mr O'Connor still lives in Sheffield with his family and travels to work from Yorkshire.

His playing career, which included time with the Durham Wasps, finished at the Steelers.

Yesterday, he admitted: "It's a possibility. I am waiting to speak to our club chairman."

Mr Simms is expected to leave Sheffield following a season of turmoil, which, despite the club completing the Grand Slam on Sunday, resulted in a fine of £50,000 from the Ice Hockey Superleague standards committee this week.

The committee's findings related to allegations of failing to be ready for a game, to provide evidence of player insurance, to control its salaries budget and to pay its players.

There was evidence of "total mismanagement" at the club, said the committee.

Read more about The jesters here.