Roar bid to bring A-League hub to Queensland promises to save FFA $2 million


Brisbane Roar vice-chairman Chris Fong believes state government backing could make transplanting the remainder of the A-League season to Queensland irresistible to Football Federation Australia.

Fong will discover this week whether two months of groundwork has been successful in persuading the Queensland government to commit the lion’s share of $2 million FFA will need to come up with to stage the so-called 'hub' in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

If the answer is in the affirmative, he will have a proposal in place that would save cash-strapped FFA a small fortune.

It could also possibly spark an eleventh-hour decision to play the majority of the remaining 32 games - of the 2019-20 A-League season - in the sunshine state.

Fong is awaiting a response on health protocols from Queensland Minister for Sport, Mick de Brenni in what could be the final piece of the jigsaw in hosting a cascade of matches over 36 days in July and August.

Whilst acknowledging that FFA’s current intention of basing the hub in NSW is “logical”, Fong recently told The World Game: “NSW already have four clubs there and logistically you can see the reasoning.

“But we, at Brisbane Roar, are working to have the hub based in south-east Queensland and that remains the case.

“We’re just waiting for the health protocols, which are due any day, and we’ll submit them to the Queensland government for their consideration.

“If we can secure the financial support then we still have a good chance.

“It’s going to cost $2 million to put it on, but if you can get a great portion of that funded by the Queensland government then we can save FFA a significant sum and ensure that money goes into the Queensland economy.

“Money is tight in the league and if you can alleviate some pressure on the cost of running it, so much the better. We have been in discussions with FFA on this for some time.

“As of today, it is going to be in NSW but we are trying to change that.”

FFA chief executive James Johnson’s initial decision to announce NSW as the hub home didn’t meet with the approval of Roar CEO David Poure, who wrote on his Facebook page: “Let me just say how disappointed I am about this.

“One would think that during this time we open our minds to all possibilities for the best interests of all players, all coaches, all administrators, extended employees and above all else, the game! not just NSW.”

But Fong tempered that tone, explaining: “James was right to say it’s going to be NSW, but things can change.

“We are very keen to put a deal together, although we realise at this point it’s easier and more cost-effective to have it in NSW.”

The likely venues in Queensland are Cbus Super Stadium, Suncorp Stadium and Dolphin Stadium.

“We have a very good relationship with Stadiums Queensland and they have been very helpful, and the government has also been very proactive,” Fong said.