EXCLUSIVE: FFA Chairman Frank Lowy has given his strongest hint yet that A-League expansion club Sydney Rovers are doomed.
In an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo magazine Lowy said that, as of today, Rovers' start-up funds - said to be $5m - were not on the table and that time was just about up for Rovers and their A-League dream.
“We have to come to the end of this and we have to come to a decision. We have a short time frame where they will be either in or out,” Lowy said.
“We were confident in them at the beginning, but they must have had some problems otherwise the cash would be on the table already and it isn’t.”
Today Saatchi & Saatchi informed au.fourfourtwo.com that Rovers' head Ian Rowden – an executive chairman of the high profile advertising company – was in the US this week and wouldn’t be available for an interview till at least next week. .
It’s been a similar story over the last month with requests for updates and interviews politely passed up due to Rowden’s various overseas trips.
While it’s understandable someone in Rowden’s position travels frequently overseas, the lack of any media communication has rung alarm bells.
It’s known that Rovers were taken on faith by FFA when given the green light to launch their franchise. Now, it appears that dream is embarrassingly close to falling over.
Those bidders who failed to win the franchise rights for Rovers'12th expansion spot and the second in Sydney are said to be watching on closely as Rovers’ fate hangs in the balance.
Lowy added: “If they [Rovers] don’t find the money in that short space of time, then we need to look for other people.”