Front office drama resurfacesPosted: August 2, 2016
After what seemed like a growing sense of optimism surrounding the Roar in recent weeks as the focus transitioned to on field matters as pre-season began, attention has once again turned towards the front office where the situation remains at best gloomy.
As first reported last night by David Lewis on the TWG website, the Football Department has reportedly made an ultimatum to the clubs ownership group in Indonesia surrounding CEO and prospective owner Daniel Cobb. The Football Department, lead by First Team Manager John Aloisi and Football Operations Manager Craig Moore, has issued a “him or us” ultimatum to the clubs ownership. Another journalist, Vince Rugari then further added to the story indicating that the rest of the clubs front office staff had also not heard from Cobb.
Things appear to have cooled off today – albeit slightly- with the Roar releasing a statement on their website where Aloisi pledged to continue in his role as Manager. There does however to be an uneasy truce between the two sides however, with a follow up story on TWG claiming that the relationship between Cobb and the Football Department was untenable.
The ultimatum came about due to a lack of communication between Cobb and the Football Department in recent weeks, with Cobb currently in Europe trying to tie up potential investors in his bid to buy the licence from the Bakrie Group, and to build links between Brisbane and some of Europe’s top clubs, most notably Sporting CP in Portugal.
That however has continued to leave the club operating without an active leader in the front office, which has made all things difficult for staff on the ground, with player recruitment decisions in addition to other important business such as the launch of the clubs season membership packages which are belatedly due out next week.
While Aloisi and Moore were reportedly leading the coup to out Cobb from the club, it’s assumed that the remainder of the coaching staff which includes assistant manager Ross Aloisi, Fitness coach Karl Dodd and goalkeeping coach Jason Kearton are supportive of the actions of Aloisi and Moore although that’s purely my speculation.
Cobb was only installed as the clubs CEO on May 8th when it was also announced that the Melbourne based businessman would launch a bid to purchase the clubs licence. In the preceding three months however, little ground has been made on that front, and Cobb has made just the one short trip to Brisbane early last month where he met the clubs playing, coaching and front office staff to provide an update on where the club was.
That meeting however hasn’t removed the uncertainty surrounding the club, with the reports suggesting the Football Department want a quick solution, possibly as early as today –Tuesday- with the clubs preparations for next weeks FFA Cup Round of 32 clash with Perth Glory ramping up over the next few days.
This is not the first ultimatum the Roar has experienced, with the FFA issuing at least three to the clubs Indonesian owners in the past 18 months as things have unravelled of the park, but there has also been another such ultimatum issued within the Football Department.
Back in January 2010, as Brisbane languished towards the bottom of the table in the aftermath of Frank Farina’s departure and Ange Postecoglou’s arrival, club captain at the time Craig Moore issued a similar demand to the clubs board. The board decided to stick with Postecoglou, whom it only appointed in November of the previous year, which lead to Moore’s departure from the Roar.
While Postecoglou would go on to re-launch his coaching career with back to back titles in Brisbane, Moore headed for Greek Super league side Kavala in the 2010 January transfer career, playing out the remainder of the season before retiring from professional football at the conclusion of Australia’s 2010 World Cup campaign.
This recent drama, in addition to the lack of news surrounding the clubs ownership and day to day management structure just adds to the gloom which has been cast upon the Roar –off-field atleast- in the past 18 months. Earlier in the off-season the clubs previous CEO –David Pourre- announced his resignation, while the FFA had to issue a third ultimatum to the Bakrie Group over the clubs financial standing and management which lead to the appointment of Cobb as CEO. The clubs off-field stability has been a growing concern over the past 18 months and it seems like there’s a few more twists and turns to come.