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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Axe falls on A-League's Gold Coast United

Football Federation Australia officially axed Gold Coast United on Thursday, confirming the city would not be represented in the A-League next season.

The decision comes a day after FFA announced it would bankroll a new western Sydney franchise from next season.

FFA blamed a lack of public and corporate support in the city for the decision, as well as a shortage of new investors with "a viable business plan and adequate capital investment."

And it said the failure of the franchise could be directly attributed to the Clive Palmer-owned club's "lack of community engagement and its inability to build a football culture around the club."

"FFA is bitterly disappointed that Gold Coast United Pty Ltd failed to develop a market for football on the Gold Coast over the past three seasons," FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said in a statement.

"... We acknowledge the hard work and commitment over the past six weeks by Football Queensland, Gold Coast Football Association, the Gold Coast players and coach Mike Mulvey.

"The team showed great professionalism and pride in performance in the way they completed the season.

"FFA's mandate is to govern for the good of the game and this decision is the only responsible course to take in ensuring we have a sustainable A-League."

FFA said the potential for a National Youth League team to remain on the Gold Coast was currently under discussion with Football Queensland.

Gold Coast United becomes the third club to fold since the A-League's inception seven years ago, behind North Queensland Fury and the New Zealand Knights.

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