Football 2 years ago

Roar owners on final FFA warning

  • Roar owners on final FFA warning

The owners of Brisbane Roar have been given a reprieve by Football Federation Australia - but they will lose control of the embattled A-League club if its financial problems are not immediately addressed.

It shapes as the final warning for the Bakrie Group and comes after a meeting between two representatives from the Indonesian conglomerate and FFA chief executive David Gallop in his Sydney office on Friday.

Gallop said a "frank discussion" over the future of the three-time A-League champions unfolded.

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"The Bakrie Group is under no illusion of what's required to remedy this situation," Gallop said in a statement.

"Paying wages and superannuation arrears, clearing debts and recapitalising the business are the next urgent steps.

"On our part, FFA has advised the Bakrie Group that they will forfeit the any (sic) right to the A-League licence if the current situation continues.

"To their credit, they understand this and have told us they intend to act quickly."

Gallop did not say if the Bakries have been set a specific deadline and calls to FFA for clarification were not returned.

The Bakrie Group claims to have poured $9 million into the Roar since buying a 70 per cent stake in the club in October 2011 but over the last few months, a litany of financial issues have emerged.

With efforts to sell the club to a mystery new buyer having repeatedly stalled, the Bakries have resolved to stay in charge of the Roar in an attempt to recoup some of their initial investment.

Players have been paid late twice in the last three pay cycles while some staff members are still waiting for overdue wages.

"This has been a terrible time for the players, coaches and staff, and the faithful members, fans and sponsors of the Brisbane Roar," Gallop said.

"It also impacts on the efforts of all other Hyundai A-League clubs and their owners.

"I thank everyone for their patience. Stick with the Roar, better times are ahead."

A Professional Footballers Australia spokesman said the players' union expects all outstanding obligations to players will be met "immediately" by the Bakries.

The saga has already inflicted untold damage on the Roar, with fringe Socceroos midfielder Luke Brattan one of several players agitating for a release due to outstanding entitlements.

Keen to try his luck overseas, Brattan has engaged the services of the PFA to help secure a contract termination but the Roar has lodged an appeal.

Brattan was called into the Australian squad for next week's World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh on Friday.

Meanwhile, Brisbane supporters have began voting with their wallets ahead of the new A-League season with many declaring they will not renew memberships while the Bakries remain at the helm of the club.

The Roar have sold just 3,442 memberships, the third-worst tally in the competition and only marginally better than perennial strugglers Central Coast.

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