Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante has labelled the actions of Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer as "nonsense", saying the under-siege club is vital to the A-League's integrity.
The third-placed Phoenix were still waiting on Friday to learn if Sunday's home game against last-placed Gold Coast would proceed as Palmer sought a Queensland Supreme Court injunction against Football Federation of Australia's termination of his A-League licence.
FFA revoked the licence on Wednesday for "flagrant disregard" for A-League rules, prompting mining magnate Palmer to also announce on Thursday he was setting up a new organisation called Football Australia which would hold the FFA to account.
Durante says it was disappointing the matter had to go through the courts.
"It's a sad time for the league, and hopefully the FFA get through it on top," said Durante after training on Friday.
"It almost seems like Gold Coast have been waiting for this court case - they've pushed all the wrong buttons.
"The FFA was put into a corner, and they had to act."
Durante said it was important Sunday's game went ahead, and it appeared the FFA would honour the players' contracts for the last four games of the regular season.
"We want to play, we want it to be fair. (Gold Coast) have got to play four teams in the top six, so they're important to the league.
"They'll obviously be giving it their best, and finishing the league with a bit of integrity."
Despite their lowly position on the ladder, Durante said Gold Coast had shown excellent form recently, and he expected more of the same on Sunday if the game went ahead.
"I'm expecting them to come out firing.
"They've been very, very good in their last two games, even when all this nonsense has been going on, so I definitely don't think they'll come over here and throw the towel in."