Football 2 years ago

D-Day arrives for Brisbane Roar owners

  • D-Day arrives for Brisbane Roar owners

Time is almost up for the embattled owners of Brisbane Roar, who will be stripped of their A-League licence if they fail to provide the club with an instant cash injection.

Only a miracle financial turnaround will save Indonesian conglomerate the Bakrie Group, which has been given one final warning by Football Federation Australia to clean up its act.

Players and staff are due to be paid their monthly wages on Tuesday and if they aren't delivered on time, together with a long-promised recapitalisation of the club and the immediate clearance of debts, the Roar will be in FFA hands by the end of the week.

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"Everyone understands what's at stake. While the Bakrie Group's assurances have been comprehensive, it's time for action," FFA chief executive David Gallop said in a statement.

"The payment of salaries is due tomorrow (Tuesday), plus the commitment to clearing debts and recapitalising is due.

"Any slippage in these timelines will see the start of the process to revoke the Brisbane Roar A-League licence."

Gallop's ultimatum comes after months of hesitation from the governing body, which has watched on as the three-time champions have lurched from crisis to crisis over the past few months.

The Roar has repeatedly missed payroll deadlines, star midfielder Luke Brattan is agitating for a release, a string of angry creditors are chasing a litany of unpaid bills, and fans have vowed not to renew memberships until the Bakrie Group relinquishes control of the club.

All up, it has caused untold reputational damage to a club that only a few years ago was one of Australian sport's greatest success stories.

Two Bakrie Group representatives told FFA in a crisis meeting in Sydney last month of their intent to stay on as Roar owners for at least two more seasons, with a view to eventually selling the club at a profit.

But few of the promises they made in that meeting have been delivered upon and with the A-League season kicking off in less than a month, FFA can afford to wait no longer.

Nor, for that matter, can the Bakrie Group - the wind-up motion put forward by local pub Gambaro Hotel over a $30,000 debt is due for mention in court on Wednesday.

Former coach Mike Mulvey is also suing the club for nearly $300,000 plus damages for deceit and misleading conduct following his sacking last year.

Brisbane only narrowly avoided liquidation last month by addressing a $60,900 debt with the Queensland Rugby Union at the eleventh hour.

FFA is already in control of the Newcastle Jets, although it's believed the sale of that club to a consortium headed by Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson is imminent.

A local Brisbane group has been waiting in the wings to rescue the Roar if required, but has been unwilling to take on the debts that have mounted during the Bakrie Group's ownership of the club.

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