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Palmer sets the bar low for Gold Coast

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Although there is clearly a battle between the football codes in Australia for the hearts and minds of fans, we don't encourage readers to be too critical of any sport, as they all have their upside and many supporters and players enjoy multiple codes.

But it was galling to see soccer club Gold Coast United's billionaire owner, Clive Palmer, bagging the new AFL club, suggesting the Gold Coast would fold within three years (reported back in May, see Football codes continue to position themselves). The gloating was short-lived.

It was somewhat ironic a few weeks ago to see Palmer under fire not from rival codes but the Australian soccer fraternity, with his decision to cap "crowds" at Gold Coast United's home games to 5000 people. After pulling very small numbers and with one of those odd stadium deals whereby his club has to pay a premium to the Queensland government, which runs the stadium, for crowds above 5000 (presumably negotiated assuming a lot more than 5000, so overall a net profit), Palmer drew the ire of the A-League and Gold Coast's own small fan base. The result was just 2616 in attendance for a relatively high profile match against North Queensland Fury, which featured well known English player Robbie Fowler. The poor numbers must have been all the more disturbing given United were one of the stand out teams of the year.

Rather than accept any shortcomings with his club, Palmer slated home the blame to the A-League and soccer in Australia as a whole. He claimed it was reasonable to expect only 5000 to home games. After the dismally small showing of 2616 the 5000 cap was rescinded. At time of writing they average about 4000 per game.

One hopes, and expects, that the Gold Coast Football Club never dip as low as 2616 fans in their first year.

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Palmer sets the bar low for Gold Coast | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Palmer sets the bar low for Gold Coast
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Friday, November 20 2009 @ 11:29 am ACDT

Perhaps, just perhaps - the example of the Gold Coast United is that no matter the sport - we Australian's don't care for super rich 'owners' getting too far ahead of themselves.

Palmer of course is most interested in his 'soccer' team because he can go to China and mention his team in business talks.

Perhaps, if GC17 are successful, and play the odd exhibition match in Beijing or Shanghai.....perhaps Mr.Palmer might become a little more interested in something that makes as unique rather than just one of the herd.

(private ownership has seemingly failed the NBL, has been of dubious benefit in the NRL esp around NewsLtd, and seems slightly flawed in the HAL. Thankfully the AFL has moved well away from that sort of model - - sadly though, rather like the Simpsons recent episode that quotes "Welcome to the American dream: a billionaire using public funds, to construct a private playground for the rich and powerful." - sadly, in Melbourne where we have the only fully publicly funded stadium which is provided for soon to be 4 privately owned franchises - 2 soccer, 1 Union, 1 League......although NewsLtd is supposed to be pulling out of Melb Storm.).

Palmer sets the bar low for Gold Coast
Authored by: Joel Adin Porretta on Friday, November 20 2009 @ 03:11 pm ACDT

Clive Palmer as anyone here probably knows bagged Gold Coast Football Club a while ago saying that they'd fold within a few years. I hope what happened with Gold Coast United shuts his fancy pants big mouth up! Cause after all as far as I know Gold Coast United wasn't backed by the state government. GC17 was and so I think that if anyone's gonna fold know matter how good their doing it will be United. I don't have anything against Soccer, I love the sport but I don't have time for idiots like Clive Palmer who bag other sport clubs but don't relise how bad their own club is doing supporter wise. And it's pretty easy to who is gonna do better in that sense cause like I said the state government backed the Footy club SO SHUT UP CLIVE!