Bleiberg calls for second Brisbane team to save Roar

Former Brisbane Roar and Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg claims to have found the panacea to rescue ailing Brisbane Roar: launch a second team in the city and create derbies in the Sydney and Melbourne mould.


Source: AAP

A wealthy businessman in his own right, Bleiberg – the inaugural A-League coach of the then named Queensland Roar from 2004 to 2006 – insists he would be willing to chip in $500,000 to be part of a consortium that launches a new entity in his adopted home town.

Bleiberg, 61, fears that unless Brisbane follows the example set by Melbourne and Sydney in creating vibrant local derbies, then the strife-hit Roar will remain on the nose of the Queensland football public as the club lurches from one financial crisis to another and struggles to retain the loyalty of its long suffering supporters.


With the Indonesian-owned Roar in the headlines for all the wrong reasons of late with the sacking of managing director Daniel Cobb after less than three months in job, players wages being paid late again and the three-times champions under-capitalised heading into the new A-League season, Bleiberg said: "It happens every year and because of that people get sick and tired of it.

"It's affecting the whole game in Brisbane and in Queensland. The best long-term solution would be FFA to put a second team in Brisbane and then both would thrive because at the moment it’s a dying breed.

“My business sense tells me to create more competition … at the moment you don’t have that and people   are tired of the Roar and what has happened.

"They aren’t renewing memberships and many won’t be attending games. But, if you create a derby, you will see what has happened in Sydney and Melbourne in recent years.

“If FFA has a bit of commercial sense they will encourage another team from Brisbane

“And then they will find out all of a sudden that people from the Roar and team who don’t like the Roar will be coming to games and the league will be the winner."

Many, including the Roar’s fed up fans, are blaming owners the Bakries for the malaise which has gripped club as pre-sales of memberships tumbled to an all-time low.

Bleiberg has a different take.

 “It’s wrong because nobody else has pumped $10 or $12 million into the club. So why blame them? They should be the ones you feel sorry for in this situation.

“But, from the other side this is what happens when you run a business from far away.

“They maybe should not have got involved from the beginning because they are in Indonesia and the Roar is in Brisbane.

“But they put the money in and I haven’t seen all the people bitching about them put any money in.

“Three has been mismanagement along the way but when you are dealing with a lot of money and the boss is far away that is what can happen. Not just in football but every walk of life.

“Obviously it would be good to have a local consortium involved because local people look after the milk better than those from far away.

“There are people in Brisbane capable of running the show, it’s just a matter of waking them up and to do that you need the competition of a second Brisbane team."

Bleiberg, who also coached the now defunct Gold Coast for three tumultuous seasons under the eccentric and erratic ownership of Clive Palmer, said he would be willing to help fund a new outfit.

"Yes, even yours truly could become involved financially…if you need $5 million then you can find 10 people to invest $500,000 each," he said.

“I am not the richest man in Brisbane, there are many richer than me … but if you ask me whether I would consider getting involved in a new club, I wouldn’t say no.   

“You have to realise though that football is not about making money….it’s a hobby. Some people invest in a yacht, some in a house or a ski resort and some in football."

Meantime, Bleiberg believes the Roar are facing an uphill fight to win back a cynical pubic.

“People don’t like to be associated with a troubled body, it smells bad and is affecting the game in general," he said.

“It’s a pity because we all want strong football in Brisbane … and you can’t blame the coaching staff and the players. Last year they had a good season.

“But people like to be associated with success on and also off the field, and want to see the place run properly. Every pre-season the it's the same drama at the Roar." 

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5 min read
Published 25 August 2016 at 12:58pm
By Dave Lewis