]FOOTBALL Federation Australia will blame Clive Palmer for Gold Coast United's axing from the A-League when officials tell a consortium attempting to save the club that their efforts have amounted to nothing. [/b]
The bad news will be delivered as early as tomorrow, with FFA no longer interested in having a Gold Coast team in the A-League, preferring to rush in a western Sydney franchise to ensure the competition remains at 10 clubs next season.
FFA propped up Gold Coast until last Sunday's end of the regular season after stripping mining magnate Palmer of United's A-League licence on February 29 for breaching the club participation agreement.
Palmer has vowed to sue FFA for $20 million in damages unless he is handed back United's licence, but this will not stop the sport's national governing body from dumping a second Queensland club in the space of 12 months after discarding North Queensland Fury from the competition in March last year.
"We'll never know what that club (Gold Coast) could have amounted to," an FFA spokesman said. "The club was never given a chance because of the way it was run by him (Palmer).
"It was never our intention to only have one club in Queensland when we added North Queensland and Gold Coast to the competition three years ago."
A consortium headed by Gold Coast mayoral candidate Tom Tate and steered by entrepreneur Geoffrey Schuhkraft say they are still waiting for exact FFA guidelines as to what's required to save the club apart from an unrealistic verbal demand of a guaranteed $5 million in backing by next week.
Schuhkraft said transparency was required and that the consortium needed to be told by FFA if they were wasting their time in trying to keep a Gold Coast team in the A-League.
"I'm sure that the Queensland football community will not entertain or tolerate the thought of the Gold Coast franchise being sacrificed to facilitate another New South Wales franchise being located in western Sydney," Schuhkraft said.
"That would deliver four A-League franchises in NSW and only one in Queensland, despite Queensland being the second largest area of participation in the sport (in Australia).
"Hasn't it always been the desire and plans to spread and grow the sport into a truly national league?"