Just what is going on at Gold Coast United in the past week? After appointing a 17-year old captain, Clive Palmer derided football as a “hopeless game” and the A-League as a “joke”.
Here are some ideas for Football Federation Australia (FFA) to assist Gold Coast United.
Queensland’s richest man and Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer has made some very careless decisions and decisions which many owners would not make and FFA needs to do something about it.
The first thing FFA needs to do is decided if Gold Coast United are here to stay. Ben Buckley the FFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) wants the Glitter Strip side to thrive as he personally led the expansion.
So does that mean Gold Coast United are here to stay?
Well I think they need to stay in A-League but as long as new owners come in. FFA has to grab Palmer by the “you know what” and remove his licence. If FFA want Gold Coast United to thrive in the A-League then something needs to be done.
In the next few years to come it has predicted that Queensland will be the second most populous state behind New South Wales so FFA need to have another Queensland side to compete with Brisbane Roar.
Palmer doesn’t even want the license. The mining giant was quoted in The Sunday Mail in Queensland saying he doesn’t even like the A-League or football. So why have an owner who doesn’t like football?
“That’s the reality of it. They can say what they like … the A-League’s a joke,” Palmer said.
“I don’t even like the game.”
“I think it’s a hopeless game. Rugby league’s a much better game.”
Palmer is believed to be interested in moving United to Owen Park instead of their current stadium Skilled Park. Owen Park is based in Southport and home to Southport Tigers Rugby League Club and also the home of United’s National Youth League side.
However Owen Park currently only has one grandstand and floodlights and more seating would be required for Owen Park to be at an A-League standard.
Palmer is prepared to throw in $250,000 into the redevelopment. Palmer is believed to want a capacity of 5,000 and it is a move Gold Coast United fans would welcome.
Fans see Skilled Park in Robina too far to travel and with Southport being closer to Surfer’s Paradise, the business-district of the Gold Coast, Owen Park would be a great option.
But the question remains if FFA were to strip Palmer of the license would a move to Owen Park be still on the agenda? And would FFA be prepared to fork out $250,000? Owen Park also happens to be Gold Coast council-owned but I doubt the Gold Coast council would fork out the cash.
Palmer however has warned the FFA if they are going to strip him of the Gold Coast license that he would take them to court and probably sue for millions. But I think FFA for the sake of the A-League and Gold Coast should go for it and just deal with it.
The other thing that needs to be done is to sign up some of their impressive youngsters and their key senior players.
Players like Zac Anderson, Daniel Bowles, and Golgol Mebrahtu have been outstanding recently in a young side hit by an injury crisis.
Captain Michael Thwaite, New Zealand international goalkeeper Glen Moss and Ivorian Adama Traore needs to be signed up too as they are going to be key figures in a reshaped Gold Coast United side.
Possibly Gold Coast United’s best player this season, Ben Halloran, is contracted for next season but obviously in vootball that means nothing. United need to do everything in their power to keep the 19-year-old winger or else one of Australia’s best talents would find somewhere else.
Palmer apparently is going to start negotiations as soon as possible but until some of the above sign up that means nothing.
So for Australian football, football in Queensland and the future of the A-League let’s hope FFA does something about Palmer and reshape Gold Coast United.