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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar, 1, 2012

Palmer forms rebel football organisation

Mining magnate Clive Palmer has created his own soccer organising body which he wants to replace Football Federation Australia following the axing of his A-League club Gold Coast United.

Palmer announced on Thursday he's formed an independent organisation know as Football Australia and hired former A-League chief Archie Fraser as its chief executive.

Palmer said his organisation had already been registered with the Australian Investment and Securities Commission (ASIC) and was created to "oversee football at a grassroots and senior level and ensure the game is operated with transparency and fairness."

He said Football Australia aimed to replace FFA, which he claimed was incompetent at both a domestic and international level.

"The FFA has lurched from one disaster to another and needs to be replaced," Palmer said.

"They staged a hugely embarrassing World Cup bid which blew $46 million of taxpayers' money for one vote and they are running an A-League competition which is bleeding money from club owners.

"The fans, players and people with a passion for football in Australia deserve better and Football Australia will be based on full transparency and corporate governance.

"We want to ensure there is fairness in the game for all stakeholders and end the dictatorship that the game has endured under the FFA."

Palmer said he had secured "one of the best administrators in Australian sport" in Fraser, who resigned as head of the A-League in 2010 after more than a year in the role having joined from AFL club St Kilda.

Palmer reaffirmed his intention to challenge FFA's decision to revoke his A-League licence in the courts.

Wednesday's FFA decision came after Palmer continued to defy the FFA, which had issued the Gold Coast with a breach notice for contravening a direction not to use "Freedom of Speech" logos on Skilled Park signage and their players' jerseys last weekend.

Palmer had also been outspoken over the past fortnight in his criticism of the code and FFA's running of the game.

"It was a disgraceful move by Frank Lowy and the FFA as we weren't given adequate notification or a fair hearing," Palmer said on Thursday.

"I am confident that decision can be successfully challenged and we owe it to the Gold Coast supporters and players to keep the club in a national competition.

"The FFA has just decided to cut Gold Coast adrift because Lowy and his chief henchman Ben Buckley want a team in greater western Sydney, even though they are a million miles behind the NRL and the AFL."

Palmer said he also had concerns over FFA's ability to negotiate a new TV deal, with the current contract with Fox Sports due to expire at the end of next season.

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