Gold Coast United anger FFA again

February 25, 2012

The slanging match between Gold Coast United and Football Federation Australia worsened on Saturday night when FFA formally advised the club it was in material breach of its A-League club participation agreement.

This follows United's decision to ignore an FFA directive to play Saturday's night's match against Melbourne Victory in shirts bearing the words "Freedom of Speech".

The club did not have FFA approval for use of the slogan on the playing strip and stadium signage, as required under the terms of its participation in the league.

"FFA directed the club not to use the slogan on the playing strip or in signage and set a deadline of 5pm AEST for the club to signal its compliance with the direction," said FFA CEO Ben Buckley in a statement released on Saturday night.

"The club declined to comply with the FFA direction and proceeded regardless. FFA has informed the club it is in material breach of its obligations."

"FFA has authorised the match against Melbourne Victory at Skilled Park to proceed despite GCUs conduct.

"We have stated firmly that the integrity of the competition is paramount, but I put Gold Coast United on notice that our decision to allow the match to proceed does not mean the breaches are waived (and) we will separately deal with the material breaches in accordance with the CPA."

The issue follows recent comments made by Gold Coast owner Clive Palmer who labelled the A-League a joke and said he preferred rugby league.

A club spokesman said on Saturday night the slogan did not refer to football, rather freedom of speech in general.