Palmer looks to the Coast
GOLD Coast United owner Clive Palmer has revealed ambitions to bring A-League games to the Sunshine Coast.
The enigmatic mining tycoon was at his newly acquired Hyatt Regency Coolum yesterday, where he unveiled United's new playing strip and major sponsor, the Hyatt, ahead of last night's friendly match against reigning Queensland State League premier Sunshine Coast Fire.
“We'll be back up here September to play at the Hyatt against the Fire in a return match,” Palmer announced.
“We'll (also) be looking at and investigating into suitable venues where we can have A-League games coming from the Sunshine Coast in the future.
“It's an important area for football.
“It was an extraordinary achievement last year (by the Fire) winning the state league (for the third time in four years), so it's an area that needs to be supported.”
One venue option is Bokarina's Stockland Park, where the recently constructed Sunshine Coast Stadium boasts state-of-the-art facilities to accommodate an A-league trial or regular-season match.
Last night's friendly was held at the ground.
Regardless of the result from that game, Palmer was quick to spruik his side's chances in the 2011-12 A-League season.
“What a great football team we've got,” he said.
“The first year we had a football team, I said we'd go through undefeated and everyone said I shouldn't have said that and they were right because we didn't go through undefeated.
“I want to say we'll get through this season undefeated, but I can't because my advisors said I couldn't say that. So I'm not saying we'll go through undefeated, but I am saying we'll win the premiership.
“If we don't, we'll sack Miron (Bleiberg),” he said flippantly.
“Miron's head's on the block and he reckons we can win this year and I'm sure we can. We have a fantastic team.”
Palmer also scoffed at suggestions his club might be coming under financial strain.
“We've got plenty of money,” he said.
“We've got more money than any other club in the A-league. If you look at our sponsors that we've generated internally, we're the only club in the A-League that finished in the black (last season), so it's quite ludicrous to read in the press that Gold Coast is running out of money.
“I've got another 100 million, billion if they want it. There's no problem about that. There's money there for a little football club.”