Gold Coast United has once again put its hand up for an A-League return, with president Danny Maher declaring the club is “ready to go.”
The club has expressed interest in the National Second Division but would “prefer” to return as part of an expanded A-League – two years after the club re-gained its license from Football Federation Australia.
The club’s bid looks to be strengthened by the state government’s collaboration with international music promoter Live Nation to build a new 10,000 seat stadium with a retractable roof, which would be used to host NRL, A-League and concerts.
“We’ve notified [FFA] we’d like to participate in a second division but absolutely we’d prefer to immediately go back in the A-League,” Gold Coast United president Danny Maher told FNR.
“Those who follow the press in the Gold Coast would have noticed an article driven by the state government and local council recently that they’d like to build a new 10,000 seat stadium at the Gold Cast with a closable roof for us, Titans and any other sports, conventions and concerts.
“The financials of a first and second division are interesting and there’s still yet to flesh out this financial model. To me I don’t see a lot of difference operating in either of those leagues.
“Yes it’s great to have clubs where you get high attendances at games and things like that it’s fantastic, but in the end most people who are following the sport aren’t at those games. We need to think about the marketability of the league in full and where the best locations to have a really attractive league are.
“It’s important to gather the local support and we certainly have the structures and programs to connect to the local community, but it’s also important to think about what the attractiveness of the Gold Coast as a location does for the league and a local derby for the [Brisbane] Roar.
“The Gold Coast right now, we’re ready to go. We have a stadium worth a 170 million dollars [Robina Stadium] now that’s almost empty all year so we can play there and we’re going to build a brand-new modern stadium.”
Gold Coast United entered the Queensland NPL competition after a merger between Gold Coast Galaxy and Gold Coast Athletic saw the license reinstated in 2017, with the club finishing 10th and 7th respectively in the last two seasons.
The club has also welcomed back Shane Smeltz, who will come out of retirement for the upcoming NPL season.
“Guys like Shane Smeltz have done it all, he doesn’t need to come and play NPL but he’s doing it for the next generation,” Mr Maher said.
“We’ve got Shane, Michael Thwaite and Kristian Rees is coaching and a host of others involved with the club and it’s fantastic for the next generation, who’ll learn from them as people and footballers and it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun for all of us to watch.”
Featured Image: Gold Coast United FC