Where to now for football and the Gold Coast?

Beau Busch Roar Rookie

By Beau Busch, Beau Busch is a Roar Rookie

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    Gold Coast United FC owner Clive Palmer watching his United A-league team's first training session. AAP Image/Tony Phillips

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    With a decision on Gold Coast United’s future likely in the coming weeks, the biggest question for Football Federation Australia is how to ensure a region is not lost to the game if the club no longer exists.

    The demise of a football club is never likely to endear fans to the sport.

    Having dedicated their time to support Gold Coast United through an up and down three seasons, fans are likely to feel some bitterness towards the sport they have invested much in if the worst case scenario happens.

    Whilst there is little that will soften the blow of the club’s demise for fans, it is important that everything possible is done to ensure that the club’s failure does not result in the death of football in the region.

    The FFA holds the key to making sure this does not happen.

    If the club does fold, it is vital that elite football has a presence on the Gold Coast. The best way of ensuring this, short of saving the club, is by maintaining the club’s participation in the National Youth League.

    This would ensure that the region’s best young player’s still have a pathway right up until the A-League to progress to.

    But perhaps more importantly it would be an investment by the FFA in the region and a visual presence in the local sporting market. With the governing body keen for the A-League to forge greater links with grassroots football, this would allow Gold Coast clubs to be tied to the next best thing.

    The issue of cost would be an obvious hurdle, but with Football Queensland having previously indicated a willingness to entirely fund a North Queensland NYL team they may be keen to do the same on the Gold Coast.

    The preservation of the NYL team may also pave the way for a future A-League franchise as it could act as a testing ground. It could also aid in expansion elsewhere as there would be more players involved in elite youth development, improving the standard of players available to clubs.

    There is also the need to ensure that top level football is taken to the Gold Coast if the club no longer exists, be it in the shape of Socceroos matches or other A-League games.

    Since the death of the Fury, North Queensland has seen no top level football and it would be surprising if fans did not feel as if they have been locked out of the game.

    This cannot happen again as the competition will not fulfil its potential if any more fans feel let down and unwanted.

    Gold Coast’s captain Michael Thwaite has spoken of the need to find out why the club has failed. The need for an in-depth examination of its struggles is vital if the same mistakes are not to be made again.

    It would also allow players, fans and administrators the opportunity to express their views and utilise their experiences, perhaps going some way to ensuring that some good comes out of the club’s likely demise.

    The FFA was right to focus on the need to forge greater links with grassroots football and they now have the chance to back up those sentiments with action. If they choose not to take up the opportunity, the chances of football becoming Australia’s national game will have taken a hit.

    Follow me on Twitter @beaubusch

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    The Crowd Says (44)

    • Roar Guru

      March 28th 2012 @ 12:23pm
      The Cattery said | March 28th 2012 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

      More than likely, the Gold Coast will be gone from the A-League next season. It’s clear that Buckley and Lowy are looking elsewhere for the 10th team, and talk of going to 12 teams within two seasons is pie in the sky stuff.

      I would hope that the FFA can at least keep the youth team together within their development budget. Whatever has been happening on the Gold Coast has been working, keep the team together, keep the youth coaches together, continue doing well in the NYL, continue developing good players, and who knows what might be possibile down the track.

      Let’s not forget, the FFA would only have to sell one player every couple of years to make the venture worthwhile.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 28th 2012 @ 12:56pm
        Tom1 said | March 28th 2012 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

        I don’t think the FFA can sell players from a youth league for a substantial price. Don’t forget that the GCU youngsters had to come good and show their real worth when they got promoted to the top league.
        All other clubs have their youth teams and academies plus plenty of youngsters coming through the Institutes and local clubs. A Gold Coast youth team without a senior side will wither. There’s a nexus between a senior team and the youth team. Injuries and suspensions give the youth opportunities but under your proposal this wouldn’t happen.

        • Roar Guru

          March 28th 2012 @ 2:28pm
          The Cattery said | March 28th 2012 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

          Good point.

          Are you also then saying that it’s a waste of time for the FFA to continue with a youth team on the Gold Coast?

    • March 28th 2012 @ 1:21pm
      Nick said | March 28th 2012 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

      Surely with or without a youth team, Gold Coast youngsters would have a clearer path than most non-capital cities due to its close proximity with Brisbane.
      I think a Geelong team would be a viable option for a future expansion club, similar size city to Newcastle and Victorians love there sport.

      • Roar Guru

        March 28th 2012 @ 2:31pm
        The Cattery said | March 28th 2012 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

        Geelong is much smaller than Newcastle, but closer to the state capital.

        • March 28th 2012 @ 7:14pm
          Axelv said | March 28th 2012 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

          Exactly, it is less than an hours drive from CBD to CBD, not a long distance at all. A decent size number of Geelong football fans are already supporting the Victory, as it represents Victoria as well as Melbourne. Thank God that Victorians planned their infrastructure 😉

          • Roar Guru

            March 28th 2012 @ 7:34pm
            The Cattery said | March 28th 2012 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

            A bit of support also comes from Ballarat and Bendigo, marginally further out than Geelong, but similar distance, also well placed with rail links.

    • March 28th 2012 @ 1:40pm
      PeterK said | March 28th 2012 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

      We in NQ would have loved to have continued with just a NYL team, but FFA in their wisdom asked — no insisted — that we pay the travelling costs of all visiting teams as well as our own travelling costs. We took that to mean we were not wanted!

      I think FFA still insist on it, but I’d love to be corrected.

      • Roar Guru

        March 28th 2012 @ 2:32pm
        The Cattery said | March 28th 2012 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

        The thing about the Gold Coast is that it’s one of the very best serviced cities in Australia as far as air travel goes, so it’s an ideal spot to have a stand alone youth team, not to mention that it’s a breeze attracting young men to live there.

    • March 28th 2012 @ 3:40pm
      Futbanous said | March 28th 2012 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

      There is a bottom line with the Gold Coast & Clive, stadium staff,FFA are but a sideshow.
      Anybody who has followed football closely over the last 40 years(or longer if your still alive & kicking) would know it has no emotional connection with football at professional level.
      How do you judge emotional connection ,well its simple you think of football & different areas come to mind.
      They come to mind because maybe an NSL team was located there or Socceroo or NSL player produced there.
      If there are long term football fans out there look into the depths of your memory & think of the amount of times Gold Coast & Football made a connection.
      For me its big fat zeros all the way.
      Do the same exercise with North Qld & its a flourishing market garden compared with the Gold Coast desert,Farina Corica,Thwaite,Stefanutto without delving any deeper into memory.
      Two teams in Qld is enough,one in the South & one in the North.
      In that sense the FFA can be condemned for not doing there homework. GCU failed because nobody cares enough there about football.NQF failed because it lacked sufficient funds to sustain it long term. Doesn’t matter how or why thats the reason.
      The Gold Coast is close enough nowadays with a better highway & train service for any football fans there to support the Roar,particularly youth the ones with the energy.
      What can be argued though is that the Roar cannot provide a big enough outlet for the amount of young talent floating around SEQ nowadays.
      Both the Roar & GCU’s youth teams prove that.
      So the reality is that the area(Gold Coast & SEQ generally) is now producing enough talent(compared to past) to support 2 professional teams ,but one has no real historical connection to football.
      Why can’t the Gold Coast youth team be a feeder to either the Roar or NQ A-League teams or indeed both?

    • March 28th 2012 @ 3:45pm
      Midfielder said | March 28th 2012 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

      I honestly hope they can sort their stuff out but the big problem is why were they let in …

      From the other thread by BB I posted “”” Well argued… the expansion has been the major error of judgement by FFA…

      Two things about the expansion concern me…. first the lack of a plan to move forward… IMO WS and Woolongong were and are the two obovious teams to be 9 & 10… settle things down … add second Melbourne & a new region … look at Canberra, Gold Coast, Tassie, Nt QLD & Dawin…

      Second the lack of control by FFA in some areas but over control in others… over control in operational matters but little control over whether the owner has to stay in…

      Nothing that in time cannot be fixed, but in the grand scheme of things a massive error “”””

      The GC has an RL team an AFL team, an expensive stadium and compared to other areas not much of a football history….

      That for a whole raft of reasons the average crowd was less than 4 k even with the Roar matches… says something …Olympic & South Melbourne, Marconi in the old NSL averaged more …

      Having said all this I hope the investors at the GC can put a plan together that means the club will stay afloat.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 28th 2012 @ 4:11pm
        Trust Me said | March 28th 2012 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

        Have you listened to Clive Palmer talk – throw in another 20M to seal the deal and the FFA were happy to take his money.

        Palmer has the money to keep going and is in a court battle to keep his license. The problem is Palmer, otherwise the GCU would still be in the A-League.

        The big question is is GCU a basket case because of Palmer or because they are flogging a dead horse and Gold Coast can’t support an A-League team.

        That’s what the FFA are battling with right now, but once again its about the money and they have demanded a $6M guarantee to grant the license to the rival consortium.

        • March 28th 2012 @ 8:55pm
          Midfielder said | March 28th 2012 @ 8:55pm | ! Report

          Its difficult to see what CP would gain out of getting his licence back…. i.e. loose more money… can he sue … HHHmmmm to sue for a commercial settlement he must incur some loss …. the GC was bleeding money so it’s not a loss of profit ….

          I somehow think it will become a war of CP dragging out facts and throwing them around … but as each week passes CP statements and those of his staff are being laughed at…

          • March 28th 2012 @ 11:34pm
            Timmuh said | March 28th 2012 @ 11:34pm | ! Report

            The CIA were funding the Greens in order to bring down Gold Coast United.

    • March 28th 2012 @ 11:44pm
      Nathan of Perth said | March 28th 2012 @ 11:44pm | ! Report

      Nice to still be hearing from you, Beau.

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