Roar's financial worries worsen

Brisbane Roar players are yet to be paid in June in another sign of the club's growing financial struggles.

The players were due their monthly payment on the 15th of this month, but that is yet to arrive.

Following the recent exit of managing director Sean Dobson, it is understood the club is now also investigating newly discovered "very serious financial liabilities" that have come to light in the last six weeks.

In letter sent to Roar staff today, the cash crisis is said to have left the club in need of a further major cash injection from its Indonesian-based owners, the Bakrie Group.

As well as $3m already invested this financial year, another $3.5m is said to have been promised by the Bakries but not yet received "as timing is the issue".

The club is now preparing to take legal action over the current financial situation, the letter says.

The crisis comes after the "sudden departure" of Dobson that also came as director of football Ken Stead left and the club chose not to renew the contract of assistant coach Rado Vidosic.

Chairman Chris Fong also indicated last month that he would soon be stepping down as chairman, and added at the time: "Roar's future is not in doubt but the model that we had in place needs to be overhauled."

However, the club have finally appointed a permanent head coach, with former Socceroo John Aloisi on a two-year contract after Roar axed Mike Mulvey early last season.

Today's letter - signed off by Fong and partially edited for legal reasons - reads:

Dear BRFC staff

As you are aware commitments were made by Mr Bakrie to make payments last week, which to-date haven’t arrived. I am chasing and expect I will have clarity on this within 24 hours. 

To be completely transparent, since the sudden departure of the Managing Director last month we have uncovered very serious financial liabilities. David Pourre and myself have been working tirelessly over the past 5-6 weeks and we have worked on a re-structure plan that will return the club to a healthy position. 

The owner is aware and has instructed our lawyers to prepare legal action. He has also last week provided written commitment that AU$3,500,000 will be injected into Brisbane as part of the recapitalisation of the club. This is not an easy situation as he has already injected AU$3,000,000 into Brisbane this financial year. I know he is committed to do this but I believe timing is the issue.

I have spoken to the FFA to keep them update but at this time there is no other information I can provide which hasn’t already been communicated but I do hope to have a response very soon.

I do apologise for the situation, David and myself are doing the best possible under these circumstances which are very difficult. 


Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) confirmed it was aware of the matter and wanted a quick resolution.

"Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) continues to monitor the situation of non-payment of players’ wages at the Brisbane Roar," a PFA statement read.

"This is a matter of serious concern and the PFA has been seeking an immediate resolution.

"The non-payment of players is completely unacceptable, with the situation at the Roar further highlighting the players' concerns regarding the good governance of the A-League.

"Over the history of the A-League players have consistently been the victims of poor governance and the PFA will continue to seek reforms to ensure the reputation of Australian football is enhanced and that its governance is the worlds best.  

"The security of player payments is fundamental to this and the players will continue to advocate for contract security to ensure that no player goes unpaid.

"The PFA will continue to support to the players during this difficult time and commends them on their professionalism in the face of adversity."

Football Federation Australia also called for the urgent resolution of the matter.

"Football Federation Australia (FFA) is aware that Brisbane Roar has some financial issues," said an FFA spokesperson.

"FFA stresses that the non-payment of players and staff is unacceptable and needs to be resolved urgently by Brisbane Roar."

Brisbane Roar declined to comment.