Gladstone on radar after CQFC Energy lose APL licence

WHETHER CQ Mariners FC get an NPL licence is yet to be determined. One thing is sure, CQFC Energy is out effective immediately.
WHETHER CQ Mariners FC get an NPL licence is yet to be determined. One thing is sure, CQFC Energy is out effective immediately.

Can Mariners sail into the big league?

Timeline of events

CONDUCTING a full audit into the CQFC Energy on December 18, 2013, Football Queensland's chief operations officer Ben Mannion found everything to be in order and no alarming concerns.

Three months to the day later, the club is out of the National Premier League.

A lot went wrong in the short space of time between the audit and now, which Mannion says was an unforeseeable decline.

In fact, the COO believes the club was unable to change the outcome, a lack of junior numbers signing and minimal credited coaches putting pen to paper causing an infringement notice to be issued.

"I did a full audit in October to which they provided a number of bank accounts, creditor lists and cash flow forecasts, which I was satisfied with," Mannion said.

"A few weeks ago we hit them with a breach in regards to coaches not being up to scratch and player junior numbers.

"We gave them 14 days and they came to us and said they were not able meet the criteria and keep the licence."

Mannion did confirm the club was having financial difficulties in 2013.

Can Mariners sail into the big league?

WILL Gladstone's CQ Mariners FC get the chance to play in the big league?

That's the question local football players, officials and fans are asking after a shocking turn of events in the Central Queensland National Premier League this week.

Football Queensland revoked Rockhampton's top side CQFC Energy's licence on Wednesday, forcing the team out of the league.

CQ Mariners FC was established last year with the aim of entering the competition.

Now a hole has been left geographically between Townsville and the Sunshine Coast, meaning the Mariners are waiting with bated breath on FQ's next move.

"It is of concern, we are talking all the time about what to do," FQ chief operations officer Ben Mannion admitted yesterday.

President Brian Niven says the club still has the competition as its major goal.

"We are still committed to having an NPL licence and keeping the director of coaching in central Queensland," he said.

They have said they are not going to make a decision on the NPL licence until June.

Having heard nothing from FQ about the licence being pulled, Niven was still set on waiting to see the outcome of the Mariners bid, which he was last advised would be made later this year.

"They have said they are not going to make a decision on the NPL licence until June," he said.

"We only found out when the news came through media."

Previously the CQ Mariners have told The Observer the green light had been unofficially given to the Gladstone team by FQ for a future in the NPL.

Back on December 31, Technical Director Joe Fenech was able to confirm talks with FC chief executive officer Geoff Foster were the catalyst for his move south from Cairns.

"We were always going to be in the NPL in 2015, we were told that by Geoff Foster," Fenech said back in 2013.

"It is the situation that we have always been told 2015, it was stated to Brian Niven and myself."

The change of plans with CQFC Energy has the Mariners unsure of what lies ahead.

Still aiming to play at an elite level through the NPL, the club sees changes have occurred and are unsure of FQ's future intentions, the organisations still working through the problem.

Timeline of events

CQFC Energy's demise

  • October 2012- Football Queensland (FQ) gives the licence for the region for the new National Premier Leagues competition to a new group, headed by Sherylene Stevens.
  • December 2012- Stevens tendered her resignation to CQFC chief executive Tony Zanda
  • February 2013- Former Labour Party heavyweight and long-term state politician Robert Schwarten announced his acceptance of a position on the CQFC Energy board
  • March 2013- Energy get a rude awakening losing 7-0 to the Sunshine Coast Fire in their inaugural match at Jardine Park
  • April 2013- Coach and technical director Joe Fenech leaves club in controversial fashion
  • June 2013- New coach Ray Wood takes the reins at the clubJune
  • 2013- Steve Grant replaces Zanda as CEOAugust
  • 2013- Robert Schwarten says the club's licence is at risk with members owing $20,000 in fees, so the board meets with FQ CEO Geoff Foster in Rockhampton
  • December 2013- FQ conduct annual audit into CQFC
  • March 2014- FQ announces the club has had its licence pulled for breaching its criteria

CQ Mariners FC come to life

  • September 9 2013- Director of coaching CQ Joe Fenech arrives and also takes on role of technical director of Mariners
  • October 2013- IGA programs begin, preaching football to nearly 5000 students around Gladstone
  • October 2013- Mariners begin receiving interest from local juniors and therefore begin filling junior teams
  • December 2013- The first Mariners school holiday clinic is held at Brian Niven Park
  • January 2014- A second school holiday clinic is held
  • January 2014- Playing strips begin to arrive, along with supporter gear, jackets and tracksuit pants
  • February 22 2014- Mariners play first match in seniors, a trial against Meteors
  • February 25 2014- CQ Mariners FC are officially launched at Gladstone Hyundai
  • March 15 2014- First official match for Mariners is played, a 6-1 loss to Clinton in the FFA Cup

Topics:  cqfc energy cq mariners fc football queensland gladstone football soccer

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