Gold Coast United targets A-league return (Photo Mackenzie Akins)
by Pat McLeod | McLeod Publishing | 22 March 2018
Like a perfectly timed ‘corner’, Gold Coast United will use the momentum of the Commonwealth Games to deliver the city arguably its greatest Games legacy – an A-League Licence.
Gold Coast United FC announce they have joined the bid process to be part of football’s national competition in the 2019-20 season.
“The timing is perfect,” said GC United’s founding chairman and high-profile Gold Coast businessman Danny Maher.
“We put years of work in to bringing back Gold Coast United, we are thrilled to be in the National Premier League this season however we have always said our goal was to bring the A-League back to the Gold Coast.
“We are in the light of the Commonwealth Games – the biggest event to come to this city and the eyes of the sporting world are on us. There is no better time to launch our bid for Gold Coast United to re-join the A-League.”
Earlier this month FFA CEO David Gallop indicated a formal call for expressions of interest from A-League expansion aspirants was set to be made before the end of March.
Maher said the new Gold Coast United “is already successful because we have been built from the grassroots up. We are a whole-of-city model. We embrace all grassroots clubs and businesses. We have proven relationships from the base of the sport through to the international level. Gold Coast United are coming from the inside up.
“We spent a lot of money and a lot of years getting the structure and vision right before we brought Gold Coast United back to the scene in preparation for an A-League bid. We have been totally invested in doing things the right way and being truly Gold Coast.”
Gold Coast United was borne out of a Sports Gold Coast plan that combines sport with business, government, educational institutions and community in a whole-of-city model to achieve the best possible outcome.
“That is the model that we will be approaching our A-League bid with,” said Maher.
“We already have a sustainable A-League quality academy in place. We have a grassroots-driven model, which is independent of any individual club and represents the region. We have men’s and women’s National Premier League programs. We have business backing and we have proven professionals. We have the highest FFA certified coaching staff in the Qld NPL and we are in a growth area of Queensland and Australia. “
“We have everything in place.”
Gold Coast United is headquartered at the Bond Institute of Sport & Health which is surely the most advanced sporting facility within Australian Football and sits at the entrance to CBUS stadium which is the most likely home venue for Gold Coast United.
Gold Coast United’s key backer is [not for profit] Sports Gold Coast, however Sports Gold Coast do not seek control over the club – rather they seek to connect the right sponsors/backers to the bid. Sports Gold Coast Chairman Geoff Smith said United’s A-League bid showed the importance of Sports Gold Coast in connecting business to sport and urged further key sponsors and backers to come forward.
“The formula is simple – connect sport with business, government and the community and great things happen for the right reasons,” Smith said. “For a successful A-League bid we are going to need significant support and I urge business to step forward.
“Gold Coast United have already been issued with a license in the second tier of football (The National Premier League) and now it’s time for an A-League bid.
“This should be a beacon to all sport on the Gold Coast in relation to what can be achieved, whether it is a Big Bash cricket licence, Rugby 7s, America’s Cup yachting … anything.
“It all starts with doing things properly at the grassroots level and then helping it grow and Sports Gold Coast will support the growth of all well governed and sustainable sporting models on the Gold Coast. We want to connect business to sport for the benefit of the Gold Coast – both sport and business.
“The board and the entire team at Gold Coast United have been exceptional and we are thrilled to support them in their A-League bid as a shining example of how to join grassroots sport to elite junior pathways and elite senior teams.”