Recap of the weekPosted: June 25, 2015
*This is a two part post, the first part will be a recap of everything that’s happened this week, while the second will be in dot point format and purely my own thoughts on the matter.
Over the course of the off season we’ve seen a few signs that the already shaky foundations at Perry Park were beginning to crumble, however with the appointment of Aloisi the perception was that things had began to stable. The events of the last 24 hours however have plunged fresh doubt on the future of the club.
This all started on Tuesday with a series of tweets from Ray Gatt -Football reporter for The Australian- which alluded to fresh financial difficulties for the Roar.
The series of tweets alleged that the players hadn’t been paid as scheduled and that there were irregularities in the clubs financial accounts, while the FFA were aware of the situation.
Minutes later however, things took a new twist with 442 releasing part of an email to Brisbane staff, from Chris Fong outlining the situation in relation to the missed payments.
The email outlines that the current financial crisis is due to some previously uncovered financial liabilities, while also simultaneously saying that the ownership group would be injecting an additional 3.5 million in capital in what Fong called the recapitalisation of the club.
The email also mentioned the likelihood that the ownership group would purse legal action against former Managing Director Sean Dobson.
Here’s the exert of the email which was made public, for those that haven’t seen it
The FFA’s response was a standard one, with a spokesperson saying that “ FFA is aware that Brisbane Roar has some financial issues”.
So to were the PFA, who released a statement of their own, declaring the non payment of players to be completely unacceptable, and called for an immediate resolution to the dramas.
Brisbane’s response to this was to try and deflect attention away from the clubs books by announcing the appointing of former captain Craig Moore as the clubs Football Operations Manager.
Things then got worse yesterday when the club announced that they would be forfeiting the upcoming NPL Queensland clashes against Far North Queensland Heat and Northern Fury due to what they labelled as ‘fixture congestion’
The suggestion being that with 4 or 5 players from the NYL side joining pre-season and preparations for the Liverpool game, there wouldn’t be enough bodies available to play the games up north.
Given the events of the previous day, most were quick to jump to the conclusion that this was another cost cutting measure from the Roar with the regional body not covering the travel of the only professional side in the competition.
The fallout from this has been massive, with Football Queensland, Football Federation Australia and football fans across the state unhappy with what is perceived to be a blatant snub of the local competition.
SBS then made further revelations this afternoon, suggesting that the clubs primary sponsor –The Coffee Club- was about to expire, with no guarantee of a renewal of the partnership which has served the club so well since 2008.
They also allege that former manager Mike Mulvey was set to join a growing list of creditors as he considers launching legal action, with the championship winning manager seeking the remainder of his payout.
Finally, they suggested that Brisbane currently doesn’t have a training base to prepare for the new season, a development which is particularly concerning given the players are due back for pre-season training from July 1st.
SBS’ report says that Perry Park is currently not able to carry any more traffic with regular NPL games conducted at the venue, while the clubs contract with their most recent training venue – Ballymore- has expired with no renewal.
Now that we’ve covered all the facts that have been reported in the last 72 hours of so, he’s my thoughts on all of this mess.
– Starting with the bleeding obvious, everything stated above (assuming it’s true), is deeply concerning. The stuff about the players and staff not being paid is the most troubling of it all, with payments now allegedly 10 days overdue. A resolution to that needs to be found ASAP as a matter of urgency.
– The stuff about uncovering previously undisclosed liabilities was first mentioned by Fong back at the John Aloisi unveiling and while that is a problem, it’s hard to comment on given there’s no public knowledge of what they related to. The stuff about the possibility of legal action against Dobson is interesting, although it’s impossible to comment on for a number of reasons. Be interesting to follow should it come to pass.
– While it’s never good to see any club under the control of the FFA, at this point it could be for the best given the way things appear to be unfolding here in Brisbane. Obviously the governing body are currently pre-occupied by their controlling interest in the Jets, so while the timing may not be the best, it may be a necessary evil in a short term measure until new (preferably local) owners are found.
– Obviously nobody is buying the whole ‘not enough bodies to compete at this time’ line, and rightly so. Just last week for example the players who were mentioned as training with the first team were absent for the game against Brisbane City, and they were replaced by players from the u/18. There’s enough players available to do it if they wanted to.
– The training ground problem could be the most immediate problem facing them given that the players are due back. Perry Park didn’t look all that bad to me at the weekend against City, but with the additional traffic it could begin to look tired. May end up being the only option however if a deal with QRU can’t be reached for Ballymore.
– The appointment of Craig Moore is hardly a surprise, after he was sighted sitting next to John Aloisi at a recent NPL game. This timing of this announcement was clearly designed to take some of the spotlight away financial dramas, however the reaction has hardly done that. Given the circumstances of Moore’s departure as a player in 2010, and the way the culture turned around afterwards, im sceptical of the impact he will have. Time will tell however.
– Finally, with all this going on, it’s a baptism by fire for new boss John Aloisi who must have thought that his days of being in charge of an instable club were behind him after he left Melbourne Heart. No money, no training ground and uncertainty in the air, over to you John.