Gold Coast United Owner Labels Australia A-League a ‘joke’

February 20, 2012

The billionaire owner of a struggling Australian Gold Coast United soccer team has labelled the league as a “joke,” and his club insignificant. 

What’s more, he says he doesn’t even like soccer.

Mining magnate Clive Palmer is the owner of Gold Coast United of the Australia A-League. He has been a regular critic of Football Federation Australia.

He told the Sunday Mail newspaper that soccer is a “hopeless game — rugby league’s a much better game.”

Gold Coast was an expansion club in the 2009-10 season. It is in last place in the A-League and rarely attracts crowds exceeding 5,000.

Australian soccer federation chief executive Ben Buckley called Palmer’s comments “offensive to the players, coaches, administrators and volunteers who are the life and soul of Australian football.”

This comes after the current shambolic in-fighting at the club as manager Miron Bleiberg stepped down on Sunday only for Chairman Clive Palmer to claim he fired the manger. 

Bleiberg left after Palmer made 17-year-old Mitch Cooper the skipper for the loss to Melbourne Heart last week and, when Bleiberg described it as a “ceremonial gesture” he was handed a one-match club suspension which led to his departure.

by Ismail Uddin