Posts Tagged "A-League expansion"

On the same day that Football Federation Australia announced that Nathan Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group (HSG) would honour its contract to run the Newcastle Jets, saving the former champions, the governing body heralded a new dawn of collaboration with A-League clubs.

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One week ago, the Federal Government announced an $8 million funding package for the development of football in Western Sydney.

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Another week, another A-League club facing extinction. As the A-League finals series plays out in the background, reminding us that yes, in fact, there’s a sporting component to the league, off field matters continue to dominate as we again question the viability of the league.

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History has been unkind to sporting teams on the Gold Coast. Three rugby league teams, an A-League club and an NBL team have all gone bust. Is it the fault of the Glitter Strip?

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I’m not sure why, but at 4:26am on Thursday, unable to sleep, I was hit with a strong opinion – the new Western Sydney A-League team will work.

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“The day the west was won? Not today,” read Football Federation Australia CEO Ben Buckley’s statement announcing that Western Sydney will have a new club in the A-League next season. Not today, perhaps, but soon.

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As the current season is drawing to a close with the final series still to play and lots of excitement to come in April, one shadow hangs over the A-League – Gold Coast United’s future and thus whether there’ll be nine or 10 teams next season.

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This Sunday sees Gold Coast United play what could be its last ever match. Somewhat fittingly perhaps, the match will be against Brisbane Roar, the same team the played against in their first ever A-League game only three brief seasons ago.

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Since the reformation of Australian football in 2005, there has seemingly never been a more crucial period in the game’s history.

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It’s been a hectic period for Football Federation Australia, the A-League, and notably, besieged outfit Gold Coast United.

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A few days ago Football Federation Australia revoked Gold Coast United’s A-League license mainly due to Clive Palmer’s mismanagement of the club. All we’ve heard about is the battle between Frank Lowy and Palmer. But what about the fans?

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It’s a familiar sight across the globe, with Gold Coast United failing miserably to convert the wealth of one of Australia’s richest men into football success. Stakeholders in Australian football need to start thinking from the ground up.

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It was always going to come to this. Football Federation Australia (FFA) yesterday revoked Gold United’s A-League licence in an attempt to bring to an end Clive Palmer’s one-man tirade against the governing body and put the sorry club out of its misery.

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We all understand the importance of football’s next media deal. In order to make the rights more attractive to television stations, strong TV ratings, stability and certainty of product delivery is essential.

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With the North Queensland Fury’s demise at the business end of last season, and the tattered glamour expansion entity that is Gold Coast apparently following the same route, doubts have to be raised over the expansion policy that the FFA are still grasping heavily to.

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Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer took to the box last night (SBS’s The World Game) in his escalating public war of words against Football Federation Australia. And he wasn’t holding back.

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Gold Coast United has reached the point of no return, with owner Clive Palmer engaging in a public war of words with the governing body, Football Federation Australia, coach Miron Bleiberg quitting after his farcical suspension, and the exodus of players beginning.

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It’s the white elephant in the room Football Federation Australia (FFA) needs to address: Gold Coast United and its unsustainable supporter base.

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No midweek A-League this week? So accustomed have we become to Wednesday night football in the last two seasons, it just didn’t seem right having no live football to break up the week.

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Talk of A-League growth to Tasmania has raised the issue of expansion for the sport into new markets, with opinions divided on the wisdom of doing so.

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