Gold Coast City Football Club wishes to respond to the recent announcement of the invitation of Gold Coast United FC to participate in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues by Football Queensland.
On Thursday morning, previously accepted Football Queensland Premier League licence applicants Gold Coast Athletic and Gold Coast Galaxy announced a newly merged entity named Gold Coast United.
Football Queensland subsequently announced that this merged entity has now been officially offered a licence in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland competition for next season and beyond.
Gold Coast City FC is mystified by the timing, lack of transparency and consultation surrounding this announcement.
Following Football Queensland’s clearly defined application process that culminated with a public announcement of the successful licensees two months ago, Gold Coast City is disappointed to see further applications are being considered and accepted after the submission deadline closed.
The motivations and reasonings for these decisions are unclear and Gold Coast City believes it is entitled to seek clarification from Football Queensland in this respect.
Further to this, it is Gold Coast City’s position that several statements made to media by Gold Coast United representatives are misleading and require immediate clarification.
Gold Coast United has claimed that all community clubs on the Gold Coast will be voting members of their new entity.
It has been either stated or strongly implied that this will include Palm Beach Soccer Club, the whole owners of Gold Coast City’s PlayStation 4 NPL licence.
Any such voting arrangement presents a clear conflict of interest for Palm Beach SC and Gold Coast City FC.
As such, Gold Coast City seek to emphatically state that Palm Beach SC was not consulted, did not seek and does not want any part of this new entity.
This position has been conveyed formally to Gold Coast United following the merger announcement and a public retraction has been sought from their representatives.
Further, it is the understanding of both Palm Beach SC and Gold Coast City FC that some other clubs in the Gold Coast region were also not consulted in this process prior to the announcement.
It is Gold Coast City’s position that this bid has potentially falsely represented itself throughout the bidding process or in its subsequent public statements.
Gold Coast City will request to view all Gold Coast United submission documents to ensure the name of Palm Beach SC was not included in any form.
It is of serious concern that Football Queensland seemingly did not identify this potential conflict of interest presented in this publicised voting model, nor did it seek to contact Palm Beach SC and/or Gold Coast City for clarification.
To be clear, Gold Coast City FC has no problem with competition on and off the pitch from other clubs, both existing and new, in the Gold Coast region and beyond.
We welcome competition has a crucial driving force in improving standards to increase the professionalism of football operations for the benefit of players, coaches, fans, media and sponsors.
However, a key component of increased professionalism is ensuring full confidence in the processes that oversee the administration of the game.
Gold Coast City has already invested time and resources into preparing for next season under the model previously outlined – with two additional Gold Coast clubs in the Football Queensland Premier League.
To discover a direct regional competitor will now contest the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland means those efforts have been misdirected and club resources subsequently wasted.
This puts Gold Coast City FC at an unnecessary and preventable disadvantage in its preparations both commercially and operationally.
Consequently, the club will now assess all avenues available to it to defend its legal and commercial rights in respect to all issues arriving from this announcement.
Gold Coast City FC will continue to advocate for greater transparency in the administration of the game at all levels to ensure the integrity of our great game is not further subject to preventable conjectures.