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Billionaire Palmer threatens to sue FFA

The billionaire owner of struggling Gold Coast United, Clive Palmer, has threatened to sue Football Federation Australia (FFA) if it takes away the club's licence.

The sport's governing body has said it will re-evaluate the team's status in the wake of the mining magnate's weekend outburst when he reportedly labelled Australia's A-League "a joke" and his club as "insignificant".

FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said he would speak to Palmer but made clear he had the right to strip a club of its licence if it breached its "commitments and obligations".

Palmer warned Buckley such a move would be a major blunder.

"We will injunct them in the Supreme Court and we will fight them in court to a standstill," Palmer, listed as Australia's fifth-richest man, told SBS television late Monday.

"I have been involved in major business transactions in my life and in 68 litigations and our record is 68 to zero.

"So if they want to come on that turf and get off the football ground I would be more than happy to accommodate them."

Palmer claimed he had been misquoted in his weekend comments to Brisbane's Sunday Mail newspaper.

"What I was saying was not that I don't like the actual game but I don't like the game how it was set up in Australia because we can do a hell of a lot more," he said.

"When we compare football with rugby league we see the chief executive of the NRL (National Rugby League) earning less than a million dollars, we've seen the five top executives at FFA paid over $5 million."

The struggling club, which is at the bottom of the A-League, on Monday fired coach Miron Bleiberg following a bitter falling out with Palmer.

Palmer had suspended Bleiberg last week for one match after the coach described the appointment of 17-year-old debutant Mitch Cooper as captain as "ceremonial".

Bleiberg subsequently said he had resigned but the club was adamant he was sacked.


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