Brisbane Roar is set for a shock full-time return to Ballymore with the A-League club poised to move their headquarters back to the rugby union-controlled stadium.
Hours after confirming they will stage their first-ever home FFA Cup tie at Ballymore, AAP has learned the Roar will also shift their administrative and training base back to the Herston home of the Queensland Rugby Union in time for the new season.
It comes less than 12 months after the QRU attempted to wind up the Roar due to months of unpaid rent at the venue, forcing coach John Aloisi into a mad scramble to find a training facility on his first day in the job.
However, acting CEO and incoming owner Daniel Cobb is believed to have recently smoothed over relations with the QRU, to the point where Brisbane are now ready to move back in.
The Roar will host Perth Glory in their FFA Cup round of 32 clash at Ballymore and are hopeful of a big crowd after the match was set down for August 10, Brisbane’s annual Ekka public holiday.
The club intends to hold a family day and use the occasion to launch their membership program.
Ballymore has long been favoured as a football venue by Roar supporters because of its smaller, more intimate nature in comparison to the cavernous Suncorp Stadium, but only pre-season matches have been held there during the A-League era.
The deal is a remarkable turnaround given the extent of the animosity between the two organisations.
It peaked when now-departed QRU chief Jim Carmichael slammed the Bakrie Group for their conduct as Roar owners, and suggested Football Federation Australia should change their A-League ownership model.
Carmichael is now gone, while Cobb is the head of a consortium that has agreed to purchase the Roar from the Bakries in a deal subject to approval and due diligence from FFA.
The QRU are battling their own financial issues, having posted a loss of $1.483 million for 2015, and are understood to be open to leasing Ballymore out to more sporting bodies.
However, it’s believed plans for the Roar to eventually move into a proposed new training and administrative facility in Logan – as part of an agreement brokered by former Roar CEO David Pourre – have not changed.