Fury’s demise a sporting assassination
THE worst kept secret in Australian sport was put to bed yesterday when Football Federation Australia axed the North Queensland Fury. It was a sad end for a club that has battled against the odds since coming into the competition in 2009, tethered by a controlling body that is struggling itself to stay afloat. The bottom line yesterday from the FFA was that it couldn’t afford to continue propping up a franchise that was struggling to attract crowds and quality players. However, the people who will feel most ripped off with this decision are the fans, supporters and employees, who have stuck with the embattled club through the good and bad. This was a sporting assassination of the worst kind. Effectively, the FFA has turned its back on North Queensland, and Townsville in particular. The demise of the Fury will send a poor message to corporate Australia, suggesting that the region, despite its prosperity and resilience, can’t sustain another national sporting entity. The FFA’s lack of faith is even harder to swallow when throughout this process they have continually secreted vital fiscal information from the club, and its base of corporate supporters. Cynics could easily suggest the FFA ran dead on the Fury. It is an argument FFA boss Ben Buckley has rejected, but why would the organisation, as recently as mid-December, tell Fury bosses that it wanted $ 1.5 million in sponsorship commitments from North Queensland, only to say it wasn’t enough at yesterday’s announcement? The FFA has its own problems and by jettisoning the Fury it is obviously hoping to buy some time to sort out its own backyard.