Gold Coast gets 17th licence
Tuesday, March 31 2009 @ 12:40 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
The Gold Coast Football Club has been awarded the 17th licence to compete in the AFL competition. AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick, in a message to the GC17 board said:
"This is an historic decision of the AFL Commission and it is only the sixth time since the AFL Commission was established that a licence has been awarded to a new club.
"It is not a decision that the Commission has made lightly and it has been made after a long period of investment in Queensland and a rigorous process over the past two years in which the Gold Coast football, business and wider communities have made clear their support for and ability to sustain an AFL team.
"It is also a decision that we have made after a rigorous process to validate the business model for a Gold Coast Football Club. We are confident that we grant the licence knowing that you have put in place the foundations to build a strong and sustainable club which will serve well the Gold Coast community".
However, the licence remains subject to finalisation of the agreement between the Queensland State Government and the Gold Coast City Council on the terms by which the land for the stadium will be transferred, and a decision by the Federal Government on further funding for the stadium. Both of these issues are expected to be resolved soon.
The Queensland club debut in the primarily Victorian TAC Cup Under 18s this weekend, and are on track to enter the VFL in 2010 and the AFL in 2011. If a west Sydney side is to be formed for a 2012 AFL debut then major developments are likely to be announced by the end of this year.