Brisbane Roar slam FFA over breach of trust

Brisbane Roar's hierarchy has accused Football Federation Australia of betraying its duty of trust as an administrator, adding pointedly that the ruling body should be more concerned about its own future prospects than those of the Roar.

Brisbane Roar

Brisbane Roar players at training Source: Getty Images

The Indonesian-based Bakrie Group, which owns the Roar, is furious over the leaking of a "private and confidential" communication from themselves to A-League chief Greg O'Rourke, which was highlighted in a Fox Sports report on Tuesday claiming imminent talks were pending to "thrash out the club's future".

Former chairman Chris Fong, who has re-emerged after a two-year absence in a new high profile role for the club, insisted that a planned meeting in Sydney between Roar owner Nirwan Bakrie, himself, O'Rourke and FFA CEO David Gallop had more to do with the FFA's on-going stability than the Roar's.

Speaking to The World Game, Fong said he and Bakrie intended quizzing the FFA over the steps it was taking over "strengthening the league to align with international standards, as instructed by FIFA".

The return of Fong, which coincided this week with the removal of Roar CEO Mark Kingsman, has the three-time A-League champions back in the spotlight.

But Fong believes the light of scrutiny should be shining brightest on the FFA.

"It hinges on the word embarrassing when you've been away for two years but have been reading up and speaking to other clubs about what has been going on (with FIFA on the brink of stepping in to run the game in Australia)," Fong said.

"It's a debacle in terms of the whole process and the way FFA has gone about things.

"Now you have something like this - in terms of what's happened to us. 

"A privateand confidential communication (in late August) with the FFA (Greg O'Rourke) and myself outlined that we were reviewing the administration at the club, with the view of providing the necessary resources and support from that review.

"It makes you wonder: who can you trust anymore?

"How can you have faith in your administrator when you can't even have a confidential conversation about your club without it being leaked to a favoured media outlet.

"When you are being undermined by your own administrator it's just plain embarrassing."

"The FFA was presumptuous in assuming it was all about the future of the Roar. That was never stated by us.

"We intended to talk about the health of the competition, and our own growth plans but the basis of the trip was really all about the game in Australia, and what future role the FFA saw themselves having.

"We've known from day one that Australia had an exemption (in terms of a governance model which didn't meet FIFA statutes) and it's time for that exemption to be removed, so that governance of the game is up to international standards." 

Fong underlined the Bakries' support of the other nine A-League clubs in the battle with the FFA for a "greater say in how the game is run", with a FIFA normalisation committee to replace the FFA board on the horizon should consensus over an expanded Congress not be reached by the November 30 deadline.

"I know all the clubs, and all the owners, and we get on very well," he said.

"Things need to change for the good of the game.

"The problem in Australia is the way the game is moving forward.

"There are 10 investors who have poured a lot of money into the game yet don't have an equal say."

Despite the ructions at the Roar, Fong contends that stability will be maintained.

"We have moved forward, though unfortunately there are casualties as announced this week," he said.

"But there is a robust plan and that's what they were acting upon."

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4 min read
Published 18 October 2017 at 11:02am
By Dave Lewis