GCU in material breach of Club Participation Agreement

Football Federation Australia has hit Gold Coast United with a breach notice for using the slogan "Freedom of Speech" on jerseys and signage, despite not having FFA approval.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has tonight formally advised Gold Coast United that the club is in material breach of its Hyundai A-League Club Participation Agreement (CPA).

This follows Gold Coast United-s decision, contrary to an FFA direction, to play in a strip with the slogan “Freedom of Speech” for tonight-s match against Melbourne Victory and to install the slogan on signage at Skilled Park.

The club did not have FFA approval for usage of the slogan on the playing strip and on stadium signage as required under the terms of its participation in the Hyundai A-League.

“FFA directed the club not to use the slogan on the playing strip or in signage and set a deadline of 5pm AEST for the club to signal its compliance with the direction,” said FFA CEO Ben Buckley.

“The club declined to comply with the FFA direction and proceeded regardless. FFA has informed the club it is in material breach of its obligations.”

FFA has authorised the match against Melbourne Victory at Skilled Park to proceed despite GCU-s conduct. .

“FFA considered cancelling the match in light of the conscious and deliberate breaches by Gold Coast United, but we-ve decided to allow the game to proceed to avoid the enormous disruption cancellation would bring,” said Mr Buckley.

“Playing the game was in the best interests of players, coaches, other A-League clubs, GCU members, travelling Victory fans, stadium staff, our broadcast partner Fox Sports, TV viewers and sponsors.

“We have stated firmly that the integrity of the competition is paramount, but I put Gold Coast United on notice that our decision to allow the match to proceed does not mean the breaches are waived - we will separately deal with the material breaches in accordance with the CPA.”