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Consortium keen on buying A-League's Roar

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/08/2016 Vince Rugari

A local consortium is waiting in the wings to rescue crisis-torn A-League club Brisbane Roar.

AAP understands a group of Brisbane business identities is prepared to buy the club and pick up the pieces following the farcical reign of Daniel Cobb, sacked as Roar managing director on Wednesday by owners the Bakrie Group.

The new consortium has been active for several weeks and is organised by former state politician Robert Cavallucci, who had been part of an advisory board set up by former Roar CEO David Pourre to ensure stability in governance beyond his departure in May.

However, the advisory board - which also included former Matilda Alicia Ferguson-Cook, and was endorsed by the Bakries and Football Federation Australia - was scrapped by Cobb without explanation in June when he came into power.

Cobb denied he was fired on Wednesday, insisting he quit in protest against the Bakrie Group's failure to inject $1.1 million into the club as he alleged they had promised.

Cobb also said he would make a final "take it or leave it" bid to buy the club, but there was no chance the Bakries would consider it.

The Indonesian conglomerate became suspicious of Cobb after his falling out with coach John Aloisi and football director Craig Moore and sent officials to Brisbane to investigate his conduct, leading to his eventual dismissal.

Two of those officials, club chairman Rahim Soekasah and Demis Djamaoeddin, are set to return to sort through the wreckage of Cobb's reign and pore through the club's finances.

East Coast Car Rentals CEO Mark Kingsman, meanwhile, has been installed as a director of the club to ensure the Roar comply with ASIC's requirement for companies to have at least one Australian-based director.

Kingsman was previously in talks to join the Roar advisory board.

The Bakrie Group is expected to remain in control of the Roar in the short term but will need to pump more money into the club to ensure it can continue to operate.

Of immediate concern is the Roar's proposed shift of their training and administrative base back to Ballymore Stadium, which will only go ahead if they pay $300,000 to the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) on Thursday.

The QRU has asked the club to provide the full season's rent up front, following last year's legal battle over unpaid rent, which nearly led to the Roar being wound up.

Also a worry is the Roar's low membership take-up.

Just 693 have been sold ahead of the new A-League season, by far the lowest tally in the competition.

Wooden spooners Central Coast, who are currently without a coach, have nearly five times as many members signed up.

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