MELBOURNE, March 2 (Reuters) - North Queensland Fury should
have been given more time to raise the necessary funds to avoid
being axed from Australia's top-flight football league, their
chief executive Rabieh Krayem said on Wednesday.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) opted to close the
franchise it had been propping up on Tuesday after the club
failed to raise the A$1.5 million ($1.52 million) target to keep
"We were so close to delivering a franchise that the
community could have owned within a 12-month period, allowing
the club to stand on its own two feet," Krayem told the Sydney
Morning Herald on Wednesday.
"For the development of the game in regional Queensland,
it's a massive backwards step."
The FFA, who had ploughed A$7-9 million into the Fury over
their two seasons according to local media reports, said the
team's poor financial state could have endangered the
However, Krayem said their hard work should have been
rewarded by an extension to raise funds.
"Every goal we've been set, we've delivered on," he said.
"When you consider in July last year that there was no
structure in the club, what we've done in putting it back
together, all whilst developing on and off the field and engaged
with the football community, we should be proud of what we did.
"But ultimately the FFA owns the club, and have assessed
what risk it was to them, and thought it was too much. They
think a A$2 million loss, to save a club, is too much."
The axing of the team leaves the struggling A-League with
just 10 sides and comes as another blow to Australia football.
The sport's popularity has suffered since Australia lost out
to Qatar in the race to host the 2022 World Cup, while there was
further disappointment when the national side lost to Japan in
the final of the Asian Cup in January.
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