‘Bidding war’ may yet settle where A-League ‘hub’ located
A "bidding war" looms for the location of the A-League hub if the Queensland government can be convinced to contribute up to $2 million to stage the remainder of the 2019-20 season in the Sunshine State.
That's despite FFA CEO James Johnson saying on Friday that the season's remaining 32 games, including finals, would be played mainly in NSW - apart from a few in Victoria - under strict guidelines to combat the coronavirus threat.
Johnson's comments angered Brisbane Roar CEO David Pourre, who on Saturday - via his own Facebook page - lashed out at FFA's decision.
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"Let me just say how disappointed I am about this," Pourre said.
"I was informed that information about medical protocols were forthcoming on Monday 1st June so that I could position them with the appropriate health representatives in QLD.
"Once we have a tick from a health perspective, it's then executing the many hours of pre planning to bring forth an opportunity that the great state of QLD was willing to offer.
"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... This is not about the clubs based in NSW, this is about the best opportunity. How would one know what that is when we limit the opportunity to one state?
However, Roar vice-chairman Chris Fong, who holds a similar position with the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association, said the door had yet to be shut on a south-east Queensland hub.
The games are reportedly to be played over a 36-day period in July-August.
"The Roar are doing all the legwork in Queensland for the clubs, the league, and the FFA," Fong said.
"It's going to cost $2 million to hold the hub. If we can get somewhere around that figure from the Queensland government, that money will be spent in Queensland.
"It's potentially going to come down to a bidding war."
Without the support of the Queensland government, Fong said it would not make financial sense for the hub to be located outside NSW as it was the state with the most A-League teams.
"NSW is far more logical to have the hub based on there being four teams from there," he said.
"There's no point in taking the hub out of NSW unless you can make it financially attractive.
"It Queensland can come to the table with an attractive commercial option, this will be of high consideration to the FFA of having the hub in Queensland."
"We're going to get a document to the Queensland government on the health protocols to see if we can get their support in having the hub in Queensland, and if the government sees it as an advantage to have the hub here.
Queensland Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni left the door open for state government support for a Sunshine State hub.
"Queensland football fans deserve to see more top level content, more often," de Brenni said.
"Anything that can be done in partnership with the A-League we would be prepared to look at."