Fury cut from A-League
North Queensland Fury have been axed from the A-League after the club was unable to make assurances about its financial viability.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief executive Ben Buckley and A-League Head of Operations Lyall Gorman met with the club today when it was decided it was too big a financial risk to continue with the club next season.
"FFA had been looking for capital from the campaign to set the foundations for a move to local ownership and a long term future for the club," Buckley said. "However with the capital-raising falling well short of the target, FFA has had to make the hard decision that it cannot continue to own and finance the club in these circumstances."
Fury only joined the competition in August 2009, and were immediately under financial strain, despite a strong support for the code in the region. FFA had taken up the funding of the club and Buckley said that in the end the burden was too much.
"We need to concentrate our resources on the growth, promotion and stability of the entire Hyundai A-League competition and this level of investment would prevent us from undertaking programs to achieve the above," he said. "Many leagues around the world have adjusted the composition of clubs in early years and we feel this move will strengthen the Hyundai A-League just as it did for Major League Soccer in the United States and the J-League in Japan.
"We acknowledge the region is an important development area for football and there are some fantastic supporters and FFA remains committed with Football Queensland to nurturing football in North Queensland. I would like to thank everybody who supported the Fury including the fans, staff, players, sponsors and the Fury Advisory Board."
Two A-League clubs have now failed in the six-year history of the competition, with North Queensland following the New Zealand Knights into the history books. The competition will now feature just ten teams next season.