"We've supported the club both with marketing assistance and some direct funding - that's not a situation we want to continue forever," FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said last night.
"What the club has to do is create a strategic and business plan for the future which addresses their issues.
"The board has to do that, the chief executive (Peter McLennan) has to do that and what they have to do is re-engage with a fan base that has not supported the club as much this season." Courier Mail 11 January 2010
A few months ago Ben Buckley asked via the Courier Mail and rhetorically - where did the other 7,000 fans go. There are probably many answers to that question. But it is not so much to 're-engage' but to engage. The Roar haven't really crossed the bridge to a sustainable and regular fan base, compared to say the Broncos and the Lions. My view is that it is the Melbourne Victory, under entrepreneur Geoff Lord, that has worked with the FFA under the model followed by the Broncos and the former Super league and the Lions and the AFL.
Success for a sporting team is about winning the heart, soul and minds of the fans. And you start by understanding your local fans (your market). Next you buy - one way or another - a team that can win. Look at the risk the Lions are prepared to take with Brendan Fevola, the signing of Kevin Muscat as a '2nd marquee' because he could be a coach by Victory, and the franchise the Broncos have been allowed to keep over the home of rugby league talent.
So, the real question is, does the FFA see the potential of Brisbane? And if so what special deal are they prepared to do to win it over? or do they see the answer as sending the team to a cheaper stadium, chasing down the quality spiral?