Gold Coast United CEO, Clive Mensink, today reaffirmed his club’s support of Football Federation Australia and the Hyundai A-League, refuting recent media reports suggesting the club lacked confidence in the competition’s viability.
The United chief said his club was fully behind FFA’s governance and also called for football supporters everywhere to get behind the game.
“I think it’s important that we set the record straight and make it clear that we have every faith in FFA and the Hyundai A-League,” Mr Mensink said.
“The recent restructure at FFA and the new strategic direction is part of a necessary and ongoing process of review with the aim of improving the game at every level.
“Football is changing all the time, as every business or industry does. It’s important that both the governing body and its member clubs adapt to those changes and indeed plan ahead for predicted changes in the future.
“FFA is looking to pin-point areas where improvements can be made in terms of the revenue back to clubs and also the overall promotion of the game. We are fully supportive of these moves and want to play an active role when it comes to the greater good.
“At grassroots level the demand for the game is still very high, our national teams are all doing very well and the Hyundai A-League is heading for its seventh season. These are all positives and although times are a little tough at the moment, the competition and the game as a whole will get through it.
“I think it’s important to remember how far football has come in the last few years and it will continue to grow, even if that growth takes place at different rates during different stages of our development.
“Everyone involved in the code wants it to succeed, but we will hold ourselves back with continual finger-pointing or constantly playing the blame game. Of course it’s healthy to question and review the governance of the code; however, we are in a phase where it’s vital that everybody does their bit to take football ahead. That goes for FFA, Hyundai A-League clubs, local clubs, fans and players. Unity is the only way forward,” he said.
With Gold Coast looking to reshape their squad for the upcoming season, Mensink also clarified the club’s position on the direction it would take in terms of recruitment.
“Despite the rumours and innuendo, not everyone is on a one-year contract at our club; that’s just not the case,” he said.
“As a club we have made several decisions on what direction we will take next season, but just because we have decided that we need to be prudent and be responsible financially, that does not mean we don’t have faith in FFA or the Hyundai A-League. Far from it in fact.
“Since Gold Coast United started we have talked about career pathways for young players and we are sticking to that by promoting five or six of our highly successful youth players to complement our existing experienced players.
“There is little point in investing time and resources into creating a youth team that wins the competition two years running if we don’t allow those players to make the next step into the senior ranks.
“These youngsters have been loyal to the club and have provided great service over the last two years. We have assisted them in their development and we will be loyal to them in return.
“We have faith in these players, but if we find that one or two require more development before they are able to cope with the rigours of senior football then we will have room to move in terms of bringing other players in.
“Gold Coast United will introduce several new players to the competition next season. We are proud of that and see it as a good step for us and a good step for the development of young Australian players.”