In a release late today, Fred Taplin said the decision was made in the interests of “the FFA and the football community on the Gold Coast."

The FFA this afternoon confirmed they were now in exclusive talks with the competing bid from Clive Palmer, details of which only became public late last week.

Taplin added in a statement: “Owing to unexpected events at the end of last week, whereby some key management personnel defected to a rival bid for a Hyundai A-league licence for the Gold Coast, Gold Coast Galaxy wrote to the FFA yesterday in advance of their board meeting to ask for extra time to replace elements of the management structure which were considered crucial to the success of our bid.

“We also advised the FFA that if we could not be given the extra time necessary then we would offer to withdraw our submission.This offer was made in the interests of the FFA and the football community on the Gold Coast."

Galaxy began the bidding process with the FFA six months ago, but lost momentum in recent times, thereby allowing the super-rich Palmer to sense an opportunity and come in with an audacious late bid.

“It was felt by our consortium that it was not in anyone’s interest for there to be two competing bids before the FFA. We have heard this afternoon from Mr Ben Buckley the CEO of the FFA that an extension of time was not to be granted and that our offer to withdraw has been accepted," added Taplin.

“If however Mr Palmer’s bid fails to deliver, then, the Gold Coast Galaxy consortium remains ready, willing and able to do so and the FFA has been so advised.”