At least part of the off-field drama surrounding Brisbane Roar has been stabilised with former CEO David Pourre returning to Brisbane for a second time, taking up the same role he held previously.
Pourre returns to the role he held from May 2015 through May 2016, initially on an interim deal before being appointed full time in the days leading up to the 2015-16 season.
The return of Pourre has been made possible due to a Monday afternoon announcement that former Managing Director Mark Kingsman had been removed from the role, just over 12 months after being brought in to replace controversial figure Daniel Cobb.
This weeks decision is the fourth time in two and a half years that Brisbane have undergone a change of CEO, with Pourre previously holding the role from May 2015 through May 2016.
Pourre replaced the outgoing Sean Dobson, who held the role for three years before his departure, and was replaced by Daniel Cobb who had a brief and tumultuous tenure in the 2016 off-season.
Upon the announcement of his return, Pourre outlined his excitement to be back involved with the club and mentioned the improvements since his first tenure in the role.
”I am thrilled to be re-joining Brisbane Roar. This is a club that has continued its football journey and improvement in key areas of operations commenced during my first tenure.”
“What really appealed to me was the owner’s vision of what this football club could be, and should be, the biggest and best in Australia. There’s a lot of work to do to achieve that but I’m extremely pleased to be back and working towards that vision”.
Brisbane Roar Football Operations Manager Craig Moore has tonight been linked with a return to Scottish club Rangers in a role similar to which he currently holds with the Roar.
A report in the Scottish Daily Mail suggests that Moore has emerged as a contender in the role, due to his solid reputation in building up Brisbane’s playing squad.
Moore is a speculative candidate for the role of Director of Football at the Glasgow based club, and could join Melbourne Victory manager Kevin Muscat at his former club. Muscat, who also played for Rangers, has been linked to the vacant managerial role following the dismissal of Mark Warburton.
John Aloisi’s first major appointment as Brisbane Roar manager was to bring Moore back into the clubs ranks after his departure in January 2010, with the duo working closely on ensuring the clubs playing roster was both strong and stable despite the ongoing financial dramas at the club.
Moore made 102 appearances for the club from 1999-2005, winning five Scottish Premier League and four Scottish FA Cups with the club.
Moore is not the only person linked with the role, including a couple of front office members of EPL clubs Southampton and Watford.
The report suggests that Rangers will take their time to consider their options for the role, which might also suggest the rumours of an immanent Kevin Muscat/Craig Moore duel appointment are wide of the mark.
Given how closely Moore and Aloisi have worked together here in Brisbane, it would be a big loss for both the Football Department and the club generally.
Im not sure there’s too much in this, however it’s one to perhaps keep an eye on over the coming weeks and months.
Polenz trialing in Vietnam
Jerome Polenz is on the hunt for a new club following his release from Brisbane back in August and is currently trialing with Vietnamese side Hanoi T&T. Prior to this current trial in South-East Asia, Polenz had been back where his footballing career began, acting as an advisor for the Werder Bremen u-19’s.
Acton joins Melbourne Victory
Also on the move this week is Matt Acton whose joined Melbourne Victory on an injury replacement contract in order to provide cover for Alastair Bray. Incidentally Acton is the fifth former Brisbane player on the Victory roster joining Jai Ingham, Jason Geria, Besart Berisha and James Donachie at the club.
It was a big week for former Brisbane players in Europe, with three finding the back of the net. Kwame Yeboah, Kenny Dougall and Andrija Kaluderovic all scored at the weekend, with Yeboah and Kaluderovic continuing their impressive form while Dougall scored his first goal in the Eredivisie.
City trio win FFA Cup
Finally this week, Melbourne City picked up the FFA Cup last night with a 1-0 win over Sydney FC in a game which featured six former Brisbane players. Congratulations to Ivan Franjic, Luke Brattan and Nick Fitzgerald who wound up on the winning side.
Here’s the tables
Daniel Cobb is no longer associated with Brisbane Roar football club. The former Managing Director was sacked –or he quit- this morning following the drama of the last 48 hours at Brisbane Roar.
Following this weeks meeting with the FFA when Cobb blamed the late payment of wages on a lack of funding from the owners, Cobb made a final take it or leave it offer for purchase of the of the licence last night. The offer was rejected, and a statement this morning confirmed his departure.
Appointed June 10th, Cobb failed to bring the stability and leadership it was expected he would when appointed, spending the majority of his two months in charge in Europe partnership deals with European clubs.
One of the big criticisms of Cobb’s tenure with the Roar was a lack of communication with staff and supporters alike. Over the weeks there were multiple stories of frustration within the Football Department over a lack of direction, while for supporters there was little more than a cliché filled introductory email to point to.
Those overseas trips and arguments with the Football Department lead to the slow delivery on important club business, with player recruitment suffering due to a lack of direction. Meanwhile in off field matters, the clubs membership drive was left far too late with it only launched last week and receiving limited interest to date.
Those incidents lead the clubs ownership to launch an investigation into the running of the club just last week, with the final straw earlier this week when Cobb publically blamed the clubs owners for the latest dramas.
There’s plenty of blame to go around in relation to this latest mess, but the attempts of Daniel Cobb to absolve himself from such responsibility in recent days has been particularly laughable.
Blame should also be levelled at both the Bakrie Group and the FFA for allowing a person with previous bad experiences within the game on a sponsorship level to be allowed to run a club on a day to day basis.
Cobb however is now a matter of the past, so the real question here is what happens next? Does the Bakrie Group want to keep hold of the licence, or are they going to depart the scene? Either way the onus is now on the Bakrie Group to announce those plans and to follow through on them.
Reports emerged earlier today that should the Bakrie Group finally be prepared to let the club go, a local group of investors was preparing a bid. The group is lead by Robert Cavalucci, a former State MP and member of the advisory board put in place by former Roar CEO David Pourre.
It’s unknown wether Pourre, or fellow member of the advisory board Alicia Ferguson are apart of the consortium in any way, but it was revealed Thursday that the committee was dismissed by Cobb early in his tenure.
Cobbs replacement, Mark Kingsman has wasted little time in attempting to stabilise the club with the long deal to move back to Ballymore for training purposes set to finally be sealed tomorrow.
That will allow the first team squad to ditch their Griffith University training base which isn’t suitable for a professional team and return to the place they called home from 2008 through 2015.
Kingsman, the CEO of East Coast Car Rentals would continue in that role and confirmed that the Roar would eventually appoint a Chief Executive of their own in the coming weeks.
Kingsman meanwhile will operate as the Managing Director of the Roar, with a Chief Financial Officer from Indonesia set to be appointed in the coming days.
In his first public statements as Brisbane’s MD, Kingsman said to the Courier Mail that he wanted the Roar to be better in all aspects.
“I read somewhere that somebody said it was business as usual, but I don’t want business as usual, because usual’s not been very good. We need to be better in every area. And we can be.”
“Ultimately we need to get this club into a position where we’re not going back to the owners asking for more money. We’ve got to get into a position where the club is self-sufficient.”
Those words are positive, but at this point it’s going to take actions as opposed to words for people to begin to regain faith in the Roar given the events of the past 18 months.
Hopefully the ownership group provides Kingsman with the resources required to return the stability to the Roar, because it’s long overdue.
Here we go again. The financial crisis that has engulfed Brisbane Roar over the past 18 months has again got to crisis point with Managing Director Daniel Cobb quitting the role. In a dramatic evening Cobb also confirmed a final bid to buy the licence from the Bakrie Group while also further isolating himself with the Indonesian ownership group by refusing to deny the Roar are trading insolvent.
This past 24 hours has been particularly dramatic with Cobb calling out the clubs ownership over a lack of funds, which he says lead to the late payment of the monthly payroll.
In the midst of all that the FFA and Cobb had a meeting in Sydney, swapped public statements before Cobb also announced he would make a final offer to buy the Roar licence from the Bakries even after quitting his Directors role.
Throughout this entire 18 month saga there has been plenty of anger from Roar supporters aimed at the clubs ownership group, former Directors and Chairman in addition to current MD Daniel Cobb in recent times.
One group which wasn’t included above, but has arguably the most to answer for is the FFA, whom the majority of this will be aimed at.
Over the past 18 months FFA have had multiple opportunities to step in and force change within the clubs ownership structure, and at each opportunity they’ve failed to do so. I’ll save the full recap of the this saga for when it eventually comes to an end, but here’s the key flash points.
The first opportunity to act was back in September 2015 when an ultimatum was issued following a third straight month of late payments to players.
Despite not meeting the deadline set –they were paid in the ensuring days-, the FFA chose not to step in and take control of the licence despite having the power to do so under the competitions rules.
The continued late payment to players in part cost the club the services of arguable its best home-grown talent -Luke Brattan- who used the situation to secured a move to Manchester City.
That lead to a rather tense fan forum in the weeks leading up to the new season where former A-League boss Damien de Bohun blamed the fortunes of the Roar –and Newcastle Jets- on mistakes both made in 2012. But here we are, four years later and Newcastle are only just recovering from their issues, while Brisbane are yet to be rescued from the structure which created their problems.
On the night De Bohun explained that mechanisms were in place to prevent these issues from occurring, but those mechanisms obviously haven’t worked here in Brisbane. The question of due process when considering the Bakrie Groups ownership application should also come into question.
Fast-forward to May of this year and after a successful season –all things considered- on the park, things again appeared to be heading south with the departure of the clubs Indonesian directors and CEO David Pourre.
The FFA issued a second ultimatum in early May demanding leadership restored to the club, which was the precursor to the announcement of Daniel Cobb as MD and the leader of a consortium which would purchase the licence from the Bakrie Group.
Cobb’s brief stint with the Roar can best be described as problematic, with his frequent international trips doing little to add the leadership or stability it was said he would bring when appointed.
That lack of direction meant the club was unable to make all the recruitment decisions necessary on the football side, while off the field the club have only just launched their membership campaign some six weeks after the rest of the competition.
That brings us to the events of the past 24 hours including ultimatum number 3, and at this point its abundantly clear that neither the Daniel Cobb, nor the Bakrie Group are the right people to be in charge of this football club.
Throughout this saga we’ve seen late pay and superannuation for players and staff alike, a lengthy list of creditors and a general lack of leadership from the clubs owners, yet despite all of those things FFA has refused to take an active role in sorting the clubs issues out.
I should point out all of this isn’t to absolve the clubs owners, Daniel Cobb or anyone else whose been involved in this saga from blame, but it’s the FFA who could, and should have brought this to an end long before now.
From where this club was in May 2014 when it was celebrating its third Championship in four years to where it is now is a collective failure for all involved.
When you factor in that the Socceroos haven’t been to Brisbane for nearly two years, and it’s over 4 years since a World Cup Qualifier has been held in this city with no game likely for at least another six months.
When factoring all that in, it’s not a stretch to say that football in Brisbane–professionally at least- is in the worst shape it’s been in since the launch of the A-League some 12 years ago.
Whichever way you look at it the FFA have flagrantly let this marketplace down in the last two years, so here’s my final message to those running the game in this country.
FFA, we all know that you just helped the nation’s richest club secure a Socceroos legend. You can keep celebrating that, or you can do something to fix the situation here in Brisbane and make sure he has a meaningful competition to play in. Because as it stands you will have a shadow of a team representing the competitions third biggest market, with fewer spectators, assuming they get on the field at all.
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.
Here we go again.
It wouldn’t be the off-season in recent times without some sort of ownership drama surrounding the Roar. For those unaware, here’s a little bit of a breakdown of what’s happened over the last few days.
Last week the FFA were expecting to hear from Brisbane director Demis Djamaoeddin about the owners plans to take the Roar forward last week, but he returned to Jakarta without doing so.
Amongst the reported concerns of the FFA are the lack of replacement for departed CEO David Pourre who left last month, the ongoing re-capitalisation of the Roar and the general direction the club is heading in.
Yesterday, FFA CEO David Gallop issued a 24hr ultimatum, demanding the Bakrie Group to outline their plans to address the current situation or risk being in breach of the club participation agreement.
Today the FFA confirmed that the Indonesian group required an extra week to respond to the FFA’s concerns. A statement issued tonight by the FFA says that they are considering the request.
The statement issued from the governing body bore similarities to the ones which were released last year during the clubs financial crisis, with deadlines set before backpedalling and allowing more time.
Late this evening –Monday-, Brisbane Roar released a statement of their own, outlining that the FFA had reached out to the clubs owner Nirwan Bakrie and Chairman Rahim Soekasah in relation to their ownership of the Roar.
The statement went on to say that the club is continuing to build towards the 2016-17 season and that the current administration and football department staff have no control over the current discussions.
Both statements have been posted at the bottom of this for those who haven’t seen them.
At the fan forum back in September, Head of A-League Damien De Bohun outlined that it was the FFA’s preference for the Roars current ownership group to remain, provided they met certain criteria along the way.
Despite a successful season on the park and the , the events of the last week have at the very least tested the resolve of the FFA on that point of view, and it may yet have tipped them over the edge.
The successful season the Roar experienced on the park had little to do with the clubs ownership, and the credit for what was achieved should be directed to the playing group, the football department and the front office staff here in Brisbane who worked extremely hard in difficult conditions to lay the foundations for what happened on the pitch.
Off-field things had seemed to stabilise with the repayment of debts rumoured to be somewhere around the 4million mark, while the clubs former CEO David Pourre concluded a deal which will see the Roar’s training and administration base to the City of Logan at a purpose built facility.
The departure last month of CEO Pourre, along with other key staff has been a huge loss, with few staff remaining to keep the club running. Off-field the club has been unable to launch memberships for next season to capitalise on the success of last season.
The Roar’s football department have their own concerns, with the Roar currently operating in something of a holding pattern, with Aloisi and Football Operations Manager Craig Moore unable to plan out their recruitment and preparations for next season as they wait for direction from the clubs owners.
While the scars of past FFA ownership remain for many long term Brisbane fans –massive ticket price increases being the most notable- as things stand it may prove to be the best option, at least in the short term.
They are however still the current owners of the Newcastle Jets as they await the reported sale to a Chinese businessman, something which is no doubt playing on the FFA’s mind as they decide what to do with this situation.
In the end however, it’s time for this to be resolved once and for all. If the current owners have a plan to take Brisbane Roar forward and are fully committed to it, they need to outline that plan immediately and begin to implement it.
It remains to be seen if such a plan exists, or if they will be given the time to create and implement it.
FFA Statement on the situation at Brisbane Roar
“Football Federation Australia have released the following statement in regards to Brisbane Roar and the Bakrie Group.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today received correspondence from the Bakrie Group in relation to the Brisbane Roar FC, said an FFA spokesperson.
The Bakrie Group has requested an extension of seven days to address matters raised by FFA. FFA is considering the request for an extension.
FFA last week sought information from the Bakrie Group on the management and financial structure of the Brisbane Roar.”
Brisbane Roar Statement on the Ownership Situation
“In response to media speculation regarding the Brisbane Roar Football Club (BRFC), the club can confirm that Football Federation Australia has sent communications to the BRFC owner (Mr. Nirwan Bakrie) and Chairman (Mr. Rahim Soekasah) in relation to the current ownership of BRFC.
BRFC administration and football department staff have no control over these matters.
BRFC continues to build towards the 2016-17 Hyundai A-League season. Our current A-League squad will complete their training on Saturday 4th June, before commencing their annual break.
BRFC NPL and Women’s teams continue to play in their weekly respective competitions.”