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Gold Coast A-League bid left shattered


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    The business consortium bidding to save Gold Coast United in the A-League has accused Football Federation Australia of stringing them along.

    Local businessman and mayoral candidate Tom Tate expressed his disappointment that his syndicate has been overlooked by FFA in favour of a new A-League team in Western Sydney.

    There will now be four NSW A-League franchises and just one in Queensland.

    “We were transparent about our model and we put it together in just two weeks. Do I feel like we’ve been strung along? A bit like that, yes,” Tate said.

    “I would have thought if they were considering our bid seriously then Western Sydney would have been put on hold. Western Sydney can’t just be born overnight, so it’s obvious to me that our bid wasn’t taken seriously. They never came back to us and said we like your offer, but can you expand on this point or that point?

    “Our motive to save the club was pure. It was simply to keep professional football on the Gold Coast. We were never told what hurdles we needed to jump over in order to get the licence.

    “I feel that the commitment from FFA for professional football to remain on the Gold Coast was not there.

    “It appears to me that this is not solely about the game itself. It’s about egos that exist at the highest levels of FFA and that’s why we couldn’t save Gold Coast United.”

    Spokesman for the supporters arm of the consortium, Nathan Mulhearn, added his dismay, saying he was equally disappointed with the process.

    “We’re not shocked at the outcome, but we’re shocked at the lack of decency shown to us. They didn’t even let us know and kept stringing us along. We finally got a phone call from FFA this morning (Wednesday) to tell us they would be announcing Western Sydney today,” Mulhearn said.

    “You think when you’re involved in these situations, rather than looking in from the outside, that things would be done a little bit differently to what you imagine. FFA clearly haven’t learned from their mistakes (with North Queensland Fury) and you have to ask, are they going to?

    “Western Sydney should be the 12th or 14th team, not the 10th.”

    A saddened Mulhearn lamented FFA’s 2011-12 season tagline of ‘We Are Football’.

    “Obviously we’re not, are we? The Gold Coast mustn’t be part of that mantra. Perhaps our slogan should be ‘we were football, but we’re not anymore’, apparently,” said Mulhearn.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • April 5th 2012 @ 8:38am
      Roarsome said | April 5th 2012 @ 8:38am | ! Report

      The FFA and A-League managers have displayed the arrogant attitude that goes with a successful world class comp such as the EPL. The whole ‘We are Football’ branding is ridiculous considering the strength of the domestic comp here in Australia. The FFA should reach out to the public, not sit in their ivory tower and preach about ‘the world game’ and how good it is around the world. There are 20 million table tennis players including the worlds best in China though we don’t here table tennis Australia saying ‘we are ping pong’ Market the product at the people without the arrogance. The A-League might even win over the plethora of football fans that love the EPL but despise the A-League.

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      • April 5th 2012 @ 9:55am
        pete4 said | April 5th 2012 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        Roarsome – but we don’t have any where near the money and resources of the EPL. It’s a shame what’s happened on the Gold Coast but unfortunately with limited resources decisions need to be made.

        It took even Rugby League 2 or 3 go’s to get going up there so hopefully down the track we’ll get a chance to get it right

    • April 5th 2012 @ 9:49am
      Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 5th 2012 @ 9:49am | ! Report

      Gold Coast were lied to by Frank Lowy and his mouth piece. We are “Lowy Football” its not about Australian Football—this is a move designed by Lowy to take the heat off him from those who have accused him of forming a Hakoah club in the guise of SFC. Let’s face it; it’s those people in the West who have no balls, no investors, to step up to the plate to make it happen. The Ethnic clubs out there in the West rule and no matter what happens there—they’ll remain disjointed and fractured as always with their own selfish ethnic identities—not wanting to represent a greater West Sydney City franchise, to remain little marginalised enclaves of small ethnic clubs that make up West Sydney.. This is doomed from the start, because no one has a realistic organic plan to unite the many factions out in West Sydney to form a united front. Gold Coast was new and a fresh region with plenty to offer for the future—if only it was given more time to succeed with the proper support from the FFA.

      • April 5th 2012 @ 12:20pm
        PeterK said | April 5th 2012 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

        QsAF, I differ from you in that I hope the WSydney franchise works, and works well, but I very strongly agree with you that GCU should have been retained at all costs.

        Perhaps within a year or two we’ll have a game between NQ and GC again?

    • April 5th 2012 @ 9:56am
      Roarsome said | April 5th 2012 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      Agreed. The coast have been lied to by the FFA goons. One arrogant billionaire against another with no love for the game or the fans. Unfortunately, Clive Palmers main business isn’t football so he has the right to walk away. On the other hand, the FFA’s core business IS football and they needed to do more for the club. Personality and arrogance don’t mix well with Sporting Businesses.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download The Roar’s iPhone App in the App Store here.

    • April 5th 2012 @ 10:14am
      Roarsome said | April 5th 2012 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      I think there will be another go Pete but the marketing strategy and community engagement needs to change. I work at a school on the coast and the AFL have provided training for every school that plays and umpires at every match. The entire player list also work with schools on a regular basis. Before the first season, the community was invited to be part of something big by being a member. Not the arrogant ‘We are Football’ and we’re here whether you like it or not statement. That only alienated fans and families. Selling football to football fans isn’t hard, the FFA needs to attract the general community to be fans.

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    • Roar Guru

      April 5th 2012 @ 10:17am
      SportsFanGC said | April 5th 2012 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      The unfortunate thing is that from the outside looking in the people of the Gold Coast just did not care enough for about this club. Plain and simple. They didnt turn up when the club was there and they didn’t turn up when there was a call to arms to show the GC support for the club.

      The FFA have obviously decided a while ago that there is far greater potential in Western Sydney than on the GC and has made their choice based on population and huge numbers of juniors playing soccer in that region. They had to make a choice to prop up either GC or West Sydney (because they cannot do both) and West Sydney to them appears the better bet for the long term.

      • April 5th 2012 @ 11:12am
        jbinnie said | April 5th 2012 @ 11:12am | ! Report

        SportsFan Melb. Have those vital statistics you cite on Gold Coast and it’s lack of interest just occurred. Were not the population and number of juniors in Western Sydney there 3 years ago? You know they were and the ball has to go back to why GCU were chosen in the first place. Would the attraction of a billionaire’s backing not been the over-riding factor? for at that time there was nothing forthcoming from the West of Sydney. Now we have Tom Tate ,in a more reasoned manner, saying exactly what that same billionaire was saying just a few short weeks ago.jb

        • Roar Guru

          April 5th 2012 @ 12:01pm
          SportsFanGC said | April 5th 2012 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

          jbinnie – agree that everything that the FFA have made their decision on for West Sydney was there 3 years ago.

          But as you point out the allure of a billionaire willing to fund a team and leave a bit more money for the cash strapped FFA was to great to resist.

          It has been mentioned that the NQF and GCU were included to make our bid for the World Cup more attractive, whether that is 100% accurate is anyones guess. Im not sure that many would have see the total lack of interest in GCU that has been shown over the past 3 years.

          Unfortunate and messy are just two words that spring to mind.

          • April 5th 2012 @ 2:10pm
            Australian Rules said | April 5th 2012 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

            One thing is patently clear…

            The Gold Coast community did not care about having a team.

            You can argue this or that, cite Palmer’s management style or say the FFA gave them a raw deal.

            Whatever…people simply did not turn up to games.

        • April 5th 2012 @ 12:09pm
          Nathan of Perth said | April 5th 2012 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

          The tale of Clive Palmer and the FFA should be read to every sports administrator in the country every time they get into bed with a private owner. It might be worth the risks but its important to understand that there are risks.

    • April 5th 2012 @ 12:08pm
      Nathan of Perth said | April 5th 2012 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

      A shame, a terrible shame. I do wonder if three teams in Queensland (only one in the major population centre) was a bit barmy when there was only one each in Adelaide and Perth?

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