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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 28, 2012

Bid for United to see out A-League season

A-League boss Lyall Gorman has contacted Gold Coast captain Michael Thwaite in the Socceroos' camp as he attempts to ensure the United team play out the season.

Gorman rushed to the Gold Coast on Wednesday to organise contingency plans as Football Federation Australia (FFA) terminated billionaire United owner Clive Palmer's A-League licence.

He told reporters at United's Skilled Stadium home ground it was difficult to say whether there's any long-term future for an A-League franchise on the Gold Coast.

But his pressing priority was to ensure last-placed Gold Coast play out their remaining four fixtures to protect the integrity of the competition.

FFA has indicated it is ready to pay the Gold Coast players itself to finish the season's commitments.

Gorman said he'd had a brief discussion with United coach Michael Mulvey, who took over after Palmer sacked Miron Bleiberg a week ago, and would speak with Gold Coast players on Thursday.

He declined to say what response he received from either Mulvey or Thwaite, who was in Melbourne preparing for Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia.

"The major priority at the moment is completing the end of the season for the sake of the players and the sake of the opposing teams as well," Gorman said.

The worst case scenario would be having Gold Coast United withdraw from remaining matches with opposing teams awarded points by default but the FFA was confident that could be avoided.

"We've got a very tight competition at the moment and obviously competition points are very relevant," said Gorman.

"You want to see that achieved in a competition full of integrity and not through forfeits and those sort of arrangements."

He had spoken to Gold Coast Football officials and was encouraged by their response but did not know if the A-League would be able to maintain a presence there.

"It's hard to read into the future in that regard," he said.

"I think there's an absolute determination to ensure the pathway for young people is preserved in some way or other for the future in terms of development.

"But with regard to a Hyundai A League team, we've got to bunker down and ascertain and assess that and analyse where it sits today.

"My priority really is about the footballers, the fan base, the sponsors and so on."

Gorman refused to discuss Palmer.

"What is disappointing and sad is that we've reached this stage in terms of the evolution of Gold Coast United football - that's what's sad today."

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