The Courier-Mail

Roar will not sell at Fong number

- MARCO MONTEVERDE

THE Indonesian owners of the embattled Brisbane Roar are set to make a shock plea to Football Federation Australia to keep hold of the three-time A-League champions.

The Courier-Mail has learnt that two Bakrie Group senior representa­tives will recommend to supremo Nirwan Bakrie to, at the very least, delay the sale of the Roar until the club has been fully stabilised.

A sale of the club had been mooted for next month, with Roar chairman and Bakrie Group senior vice-president Chris Fong having made no secret of his company’s intention to rid its hands of Roar at the direction of supremo Nirwan Bakrie.

But Fong has been a notable absentee in recent weeks and was not part of Tuesday’s meeting that took place between the two Bakrie Group representa­tives and Roar officials. It is understood the pair representi­ng the Bakrie Group was shocked to discover the extent of the turmoil the Roar were in.

Rather than sell the club for a “fire sale” fee, it is understood the Bakrie Group now wants to return the Roar to a viable and more attractive state before contemplat­ing a sale. They will present their case to FFA officials tomorrow.

FFA is set to demand the Bakrie Group provide a thorough plan on how they intend to rescue the Roar, clear the club’s debts, pay outstandin­g wages, superannua­tion and medical bills, and ensure there will not be a repeat of the fiasco that has made Brisbane an off-field basket case.

Players received the entirety of their latest monthly wages nine days late, while staff, including coach John Aloisi and his football department, are still waiting for their overdue pay.

FFA remains under pressure to strip the Bakrie Group of their licence. That is unlikely, particular­ly while FFA owns Newcastle Jets.

The Bakrie Group first bought into the Roar in September 2011, purchasing 70 per cent of the club from FFA.

In February 2012, the Bakries bought the remaining 30 per cent of the club from FFA. This month an $18 million sale deal brokered out of Italy and Germany collapsed.

A new consortium, including Australian and overseas interests, were understood to be negotiatin­g a sale with Fong.

THE Roar have added another game to their preseason, taking on a Gold Coast Premier League Select XI at Southport Football Club at 3pm on Sunday.

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