FFA chief executive Ben Buckley this evening rejected the claims of maverick former Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer and his breakaway "Football Australia" and revealed they were ready for a legal war.
Palmer this evening announced he was setting up the lobbying think-tank to campaign against the FFA (although his own press release originally said he was establishing a breakaway league).
In a long rambling press conference, Palmer made a range of attacks on the FFA, including allegations of bribery and corruption.
He hoped to rally the support of other owners, but tonight Perth Glory owner Tony Sage distanced himself from the row.
"Our focus is on qualifying for the Hyundai A-League finals," Sage said. "What happens between the FFA and Mr Clive Palmer is not a priority for our club at this stage of the season.
"We urge both sides to come to a quick conclusion for the sake of the game."
Buckley has refuted the claims ahead an appearance on Fox Sports later tonight, and said the governing body was braced for a legal onslaught threatened by Palmer.
“Once again an array of unsubstantiated claims and wild commentary have been made by Clive Palmer," said Buckley. “The comments serve no purpose in any way to advance football in Australia.
“At this stage FFA does not intend to respond to this farcical outburst, which is clearly intended to deflect attention from the real issue – that Gold Coast United FC Pty Ltd under Clive Palmer has shown that it will not comply with the rules and regulations of the competition in accordance with the agreement they signed.
“In relation to the specific issue of the Hyundai A-League Week 22 fixture between Gold Coast and Wellington Phoenix this Sunday, we have had one priority – to make sure the game is played and the integrity of the competition is protected on behalf of the other nine clubs, members, fans, our broadcaster, sponsors and all the stakeholders of the game.
“Today the Head of Hyundai A-League, Lyall Gorman, met with the Gold Coast United players and discussed the situation following yesterday’s termination of the licence.
“There’s a real determination among the players to fulfill the remaining fixtures and the FFA is working diligently to get that outcome.
“This afternoon FFA was informed that Gold Coast United FC Pty Ltd would initiate legal proceedings tomorrow to challenge the notice of termination.
“We have expected this turn of events and we are fully prepared.”