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Feb 28, 2012

Palmer offers olive branch to Lowy

Outspoken Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer has extended a peace offering to Frank Lowy but will continue to defy Football Federation Australia orders this weekend.

A day after being slammed by FFA chairman Lowy for making illogical, confused and damaging comments about the game, a more conciliatory Palmer responded by sending out a media release entitled 'Palmer Praises Lowy'.

Queensland's richest man applauded Lowy's contribution to football in Australia over many years and welcomed Lowy's 'state of the game' address in Melbourne on Tuesday when he described Gold Coast as a "spectacular failure".

Palmer said he also respected the FFA chief's defence of the A-League's administration despite mounting scathing attacks on the competition and the code over the past 10 days.

"We may not always agree but I respect what he (Lowy) has done for the game and he is a great Australian icon," he said.

"We have had some issues with FFA and made some criticisms but this is just contributing to the debate about football in this country and is designed to only make the game better.

"Any ideas to contribute to change can only be beneficial."

While the FFA have ordered United to stop displaying "Freedom of Speech" logos at their Skilled Park ground and on their jerseys, Palmer indicated his team would continue to brandish the message.

Gold Coast play Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand on Sunday and the logo will remain on their jersey, in place of naming-rights sponsor Hyatt Coolum.

Palmer, who owns the Coolum resort, sacked Hyatt as property managers last week before Hyatt took out a Supreme Court injunction.

The matter is back before the Queensland Supreme Court on Thursday and Palmer insists the 'Freedom of Speech' is not aimed at the FFA.

"The message has been used in place of Hyatt branding as we are in a legal dispute with that company and I can't see anything wrong with such a simple but meaningful statement such as the right to freedom of speech," he said.

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