Buckley spent part of last week meeting rival bidders Don Matheson and Millissa Fischer-Massa and was satisfied - to a degree - with the submissions.
But Buckley said both bids still had "work to do" to convince the FFA that a Townsville-based team was a better option than a new franchise from Wollongong, western Sydney or Melbourne.
Matheson was confident of getting the nod from the FFA, believing his talks with Buckley had been productive.
The Clive Palmer-backed Gold Coast outfit, while seemingly assured of an A-League spot, is also unlikely to receive official FFA confirmation of its admission until late July or early August.
"They still have some matters that need to be addressed," Buckley said of United, which has already appointed coaching and off-field staff.