Roar deal as Brisbane's players await unpaid wages

Some two weeks before they face the multi-millionaires of Liverpool in a sold-out exhibition match at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Roar's players and staff continue to go unpaid by embattled owner, The Bakrie Group.

The Indonesian conglomerate, which is teetering under a reported $9 billion of debt, has promised to inject $3.5 million into the club, which is in the midst of a major re-structure.

But Professional Footballers Australia revealed on Tuesday that players and staff – who were due to paid on 15 June – have yet to be renumerated for this month amid growing concerns over the on-going viability of the three-time champion under the control of the Bakries.

To add a measure of confusion to the uncertainty, there were unconfirmed reports on Tuesday night that some players had received wages - whilst many were still waiting.

It’s the worst possible preparation for new coach John Aloisi and his team for the visit of the English giant, with the irony of a club currently being unable to pay its players facing one of the world’s richest teams on 17 July not lost on the Roar squad.

Liverpool’s wage bill of $278 million was the fifth highest in the Premier League last season, with former captain Steven Gerrard commanding $280,000-a-week and rebel striker Raheem Sterling last month rejecting a $190,000-a-week offer as he chases a move to Manchester City.

The extent of the Roar's financial predicament was laid bare a week ago through an internal e-mail addressed to Roar staff which detailed the club's "very serious financial liabilities" whilst also hinting at possible legal action against former managing director Sean Dobson.

The communique pledged that the Bakries would alleviate concerns with a $3.5 million cash infusion, but to the dismay of staff and players no money has, as yet, been forthcoming.

The FFA, which has been closely monitoring the situation, said through a spokesman last week that it was "unacceptable" for an A-League club not to meet its obligations to players and staff.

"Football Federation Australia (FFA) is aware that Brisbane Roar has some financial issues," said the spokesperson.

"FFA stresses that the non-payment of players and staff is unacceptable and needs to be resolved urgently by Brisbane Roar."

The Roar memo to staff read, in part: "To be completely transparent, since the sudden departure of the managing director last month we have uncovered very serious financial liabilities."

"(Interim chief executive) David Pourre and myself have been working tirelessly over the past 5-6 weeks uncovering more damage and we have a worked on a re-structure plan that will return the club to a healthy position."

 

Source: SBS