Durante backs FFA over GCU affair

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante has back Football Federation Australia's decision to strip Clive Palmer of his Gold Coast United licence, saying the volatile chairman had backed the governing body into a corner.

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante has back Football Federation Australia's decision to strip Clive Palmer of his Gold Coast United licence, saying the volatile chairman had backed the governing body into a corner.

Palmer has been involved in an ongoing dispute with the FFA over a range of issues relating to how the game is run in Australia.

Palmer has been embroiled in a war of words with FFA chairman Frank Lowy and FFA chief executive Ben Buckley and the final straw came when players wore shirts with "Freedom of Speech" emblazoned across them instead of their club sponsor in last Saturday's match against Melbourne Victory in clear breach of the club participation agreement.

Palmer was stripped of his licence on Wednesday, putting the Gold Coast's remaining matches against the Phoenix, Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar in jeopardy.

The mining magnate also announced he would be seeking a court injunction on Friday to allow his Gold Coast team to play its last four matches of the season under its current structure.

"It almost seems like Gold Coast have been waiting for this court case," said Durante after Phoenix training on Friday.

"They have pushed all the wrong buttons with the FFA and from what I'm reading they've neglected to listen to them and the FFA were put in a corner and they had to act."

"There were some comments that were made by Clive that haven't gone down very well with the league officials and they've taken action and now there's a court case, which is not good."

"You don't want to associate the league with court cases. It's a sad time for the league and hopefully the FFA get through it on top."

"But it's a shame they had to do it four games before the season had to end."

Durante said the biggest losers in the sorry saga were the players.

"At the end of the day it's the players that are going to suffer through all this. Hopefully the FFA honour all the contracts and the players are looked after," he said.

The Phoenix skipper revealed he had spoken to former Wellington team-mate Glen Moss about the situation and the continued uncertainty around Sunday's match between the two teams at Westpac Stadium.

"I spoke to Glen Moss briefly. They weren't sure if their contracts were going to be honoured and if they could even come over (to Wellington) and play," said Durante.

"But from what I hear their contracts will be honoured and they will play these last four games and they will be giving it their best and finish the league with a bit of integrity."

But Moss revealed the ongoing turmoil was beginning to take its toll.

"He said it wasn't really a good camp," Durante said.

"Clive has gone off and called all the players in and is talking about a breakaway league and nonsense like that."

"You don't want all that stuff in your head. But he said the players had all stuck together and they have been in close contact with the PFA (Professional Footballers Association) people."

"They just want their contracts honoured and they'll come out here and play and they'll play their last four games."