North Queensland Fury dropped from A-League

Published Feb. 28, 2011 10:50 p.m. EST

North Queensland Fury has been dropped from next year's A-League competition because of financial problems, Football Federation Australia said Tuesday.

The club's position was ''too big of a financial risk for FFA to undertake,'' so the team was dropped from the 2011-2012 competition, the FFA said in a statement.

The Fury made headlines two years ago when it signed former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler as its marquee player. Fowler has since shifted to the Perth Glory.

FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said ''a sufficient amount of capital could not be raised'' to keep the Fury afloat, adding that a campaign to save the club hadn't generated enough pledges of financial support.


The A-League will be reduced to 10 clubs for next season after expanding to 11 this season with the inclusion of second franchise based in Melbourne.

''FFA had been looking for capital from the campaign to set the foundations for a move to local ownership and a long-term future for the club,'' Buckley said.

''However with the capital-raising falling well short of the target, FFA has had to make the hard decision that it cannot continue to own and finance the club in these circumstances.''

Buckley said the league's problems were not unique to Australia.

''Many leagues around the world have adjusted the composition of clubs in early years and we feel this move will strengthen the A-League just as it did for Major League Soccer in the United States and the J-League in Japan,'' he said.

The team has had a history of financial problems, even while bidding for a franchise in the northeastern Australian city. It began play in the 2009-2010 season with Fowler, but at the end of their inaugural season, the team was under financial strain due to low crowd totals in a region dominated by rugby league.