Sydney Rovers’ flawed bid for entry into an expanded 12-team A-League next season will be officially shelved at the meeting of Football Federation Australia’s board in the first week of November.
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SBS EXCLUSIVE

25 Oct 2010 - 3:21 PM  UPDATED 9 Nov 2012 - 6:00 AM

The Rovers team, headed up by Saatchi boss Ian Rowden, has received a month-long extension by the ruling body to prove it has the $6 million in start up costs required to gain a place in the competition.

But FFA sources have revealed that, as of the last FFA board meeting in early October, the Rovers consortium, which also boasts ex-Socceroos players Charlie Yankos and Peter Tredinnick and advertising executive John Moore on its ticket, had barely come up with half that figure and was in grave danger of being left adrift.

Rovers has no home ground, no CEO, no coach, no back room staff and most pertinently, no players. Nor have any been approached.

The failure of Rovers to get off the ground is shaping as a major embarrassment for FFA CEO Ben Buckley, who was the driving force in handing the 12th licence to a consortium which boasted it would embrace the talent-rich western suburbs of Sydney.

Two other Sydney bids, one from Wollongong and one for Canberra, lost out as Rovers got the nod in what now appears an ill-calculated move by Buckley and the board.

The wheels began to fall off when an Asian backer pulled out in September, leaving the Rovers with no tangible plan B.

One source close to the Rovers bid said: 'The situation is this. How can you successfully put a team together when as of October 1, when players were able to negotiate with the clubs, the Rovers had not approached anybody?

'It just doesn’t look feasible that they can get up and running now at such short notice. How can they possibly do it from here?"

Before the emergence of Rovers, FFA had been set to award the licence to a group backed by colourful Sydney businessman Joe Meissner - and chaired by Rowden.

But that was scuppered when Meissner pulled out at the eleventh hour.