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By ESPN Staff

Gold Coast Utd officially axed

Gold Coast United have officially been axed from the A-League after Football Federation Australia confirmed the club will not take part in the 2012-13 season.

• New Sydney team confirmed
• Players upset as Gold Coast fold

Less than 24 hours after announcing a new team from Western Sydney will play in the A-League next season, FFA CEO Ben Buckley put the final nail in the coffin of the troubled Gold Coast franchise.

"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," Buckley said. "Today's decision to exit can be directly attributed to Gold Coast United Pty Ltd's lack of community engagement and its inability to build a football culture around the club.

"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 Hyundai A-League."

Gold Coast is the third club to be axed from the A-League in six years, following in the footsteps of North Queensland Fury last year and the New Zealand Knights, who folded in 2007.

United were plagued by problems on and off the field since their inception in 2008, with FFA stripping owner Clive Palmer of his license in February.

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

The new Western Sydney club will have just six months to prepare, assuming the A-League begins in October as it did this season.

FFA said the potential for a National Youth League team to remain on the Gold Coast is still under consideration.


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