Embattled A-League club Brisbane have taken another hit, with long-time backers The Coffee Club opting not to renew their major sponsorship.
In a development that will exacerbate the club’s precarious financial position, the company – part-owned by former Roar shareholders Emmanuel Drivas and Emmanuel Kokoris – has severed ties with Brisbane after eight years.
The deal was worth $650,000 a year to the Roar and was the longest-standing commercial partnership of its kind in the A-League.
“As a business, we’re embarking upon an exciting new brand direction anchored in fostering reconnection and being a place where meeting up means more,” Drivas said in a statement released to AAP.
“The Coffee Club along with our near 300-strong franchise network, is looking forward to aligning with a new sponsorship partner who better reflects this next chapter of our organisation’s story.”
Roar chairman Chris Fong said the club had valued sponsor’s support over the years.
“Both organisations have shared many successes together and we thank The Coffee Club for their support as we both take on new challenges ahead,” he said.
The Roar must embark on a search for a major sponsor at a time when the club can barely scrape together two pennies.
Players only this week were delivered the wages they should have received on June 15, eking out some breathing space for Brisbane and owners The Bakrie Group, who are battling a financial crisis of their own.
The payment of players will make it tougher for those seeking a release from the club.
But it’s understood staff have not yet been paid and the $3.5 million recapitalisation promised by Bakrie has also not arrived.
Football Federation Australia is keeping a close eye on the situation and will be forced to act if players and staff are again not paid on July 15, the next due date for wages.
The Roar will train for the first time under new coach John Aloisi on Friday, at the club’s temporary home at Griffith University’s Nathan campus.