ANALYSIS: FFA – 100% owners of North Queensland Fury – believed they’d have to fund Fury to the tune of $2m next season and this was too big a risk to take.
It was the accountants who decided that the risk of losing around $2m was too great and the FFA hierarchy went along with the assessment.
That is the reason in a nutshell that North Queensland Fury were axed today.
Reports of rows over capital raised and operating income are corporate smoke and mirrors.
This was a decision taken by bean counters in Sydney based on their pessimistic assessment of how much they believe the FFA will be up for next season.
After a day of high drama, FFA head honchos flew in to Townsville to issue Fury an A-League death knell and then promptly flew out.
Sadly, the decision had nothing to do with North Queensland football fans, players, parents or coaches. It wasn’t a football decision. It wasn’t a human decision. It wasn’t a decision taken with one eye on the future.
It was a decision taken by suits who know nothing about the passion of football and its fans.
If an optimistic view of the next 12 months was taken, those losses might have been in the vicinity of as little as $500,000, insiders tell au.fourfourtwo.com. Who knows, they might have even broke even?
Fury had raised $900,000 over the next three years in a community ownership model – incredibly this was achieved in just three weeks and just before a Cyclone ripped through the region.
How much this would’ve increased over the next year is anyone’s guess. How much more sponsorship raised is also a moot point but this, insiders say, was all taken into account by FFA before making the decision.
Ultimately the FFA’s financial department failed to have any confidence in the Fury and weren’t willing to take the risk.
And when the bean counters make a decision, that's it.
Fury CEO Rabieh Krayem will speak to the media tomorrow.
FFA CEO Ben Buckley earlier explained to the media the FFA’s decision to axe Fury after a meeting with club staff.
Buckley spoke about the FFA being “exposed” to these costs and said it was “unacceptable” for the FFA.
“Unfortunately the financial exposure for the FFA is just too great. Unfortunately the capital raised fell short of the targets.
“We made this decision after considerable analysis. It’s a hard decision because it affects so many people but we have to think of the rest of the competition.”
He added that he hoped football fans in North Queensland would not turn their backs on the code.
“Not having an A-League team might be a setback for a period of time but we still believe in the growth of the code.”
But Buckley hinted that the opportunity for the area to still have an NYL side – said to be underwritten by Football Queensland – could still be on the agenda.
He added: “It’s an option we’d be happy to have with Football Queensland if it was a viable option.”