Gold Coast free their speech

Gold Coast United have responded to their breach notice from the FFA claiming they intend to continue to wear a strip emblazoned with 'Freedom of Speech' for the rest of the season.

Gold Coast United have responded to their breach notice from the FFA claiming they intend to continue to wear a strip emblazoned with 'Freedom of Speech' for the rest of the season.

In a statement released on Monday, the club launched a staunch defence of its decision to display the slogan 'Freedom of Speech' on the front of its jerseys and on advertising boards at its home ground, Skilled Park on Saturday night.

United did so against the permission of the FFA, leading the governing body of football in Australia to slap the club with a material breach of their club participation agreement.

The message was used in place the club's usual major sponsor, Hyatt Regency Coolum, because chairman Clive Palmer is embroiled in a legal dispute with global hotel management giants Hyatt, the company which operates his recently-acquired resort.

Chief executive Clive Mensink vowed to stick with the new branding for the rest of the season and possibly next season as well, claiming the message was not meant to cause controversy.

"We were totally dismayed by FFA's objection to the club-s decision," Mensink said.

"It is public knowledge that Mr Palmer-s group of companies are in a legal dispute with the Hyatt and as a result, the club wasn-t comfortable playing with the Hyatt brand on the playing strips."

"It was suggested internally that as a replacement, something non-controversial would serve as a message to the broader community."

"We currently have two African refugees playing for the club who have experienced what it is like to live in a country fighting for freedom of speech."

"We thought it was an innocent term as we all recognise in Australia that freedom of speech is something we all respect."

"Currently we are all concerned for those in Syria fighting for their freedom. Australians have fought in world wars and other actions to protect our freedoms, there was no way we would condone any disrespect for freedom of speech."

"It is our constitutional right to embrace this message and we don't believe FFA should have the power to intervene."

"Fans and the public deserve to know and have the right to freedom of speech."

These are the views of the author and are by no means the views of the FFA or Hyundai A-League.