GOLD Coast United have revealed their lack of faith in the viability and survival of the A-League by only offering one-year contracts for the upcoming campaign.
Despite being owned by Australia's fifth-richest man Clive Palmer, United will field a shoe-string team made up mainly of youth players for the 2011/2012 season.
Already Bruce Djite, Jason Culina, Bas van den Brink, Dino Djulbic, Steve Pantelidis, Anderson and Shane Smeltz have left the club this off-season.
And in an incredible admission, United coach Miron Bleiberg told the Sydney Morning Herald the club had no confidence in the FFA.
''The owners just don't believe in the current model of the A-League and many of them are not sure that the competition can survive,'' Bleiberg said.
''That's why Gold Coast only going to be offering one-year contracts for now. We're going to have a team next season of youth players and a few senior players, but not many.
''Clive is like any businessman, and he doesn't like throwing money away on something that isn't working.
“He's listened to what the other owners are saying, and it's simply responsible fiscal management in the current economic climate of the game in Australia.''
Gold Coast are hoping to avoid the situation where clubs were forced to honour ongoing contracts such as with David Williams at the defunct North Queensland Fury or Adelaide United's sacked assistant Phil Stubbins.
United's future as part of the A-League has continually been tenuous as the club have struggled to attract fans following their introduction to the A-League in 2009.
Gold Coast averaged an A-League worst 3,434 fans per home game for the 2010/2011 season despite finishing the season in third.
But Bleiberg said Palmer's concern wasn't with United's viability, but rather the A-League.
''The future, at the moment, looks very bleak … Clive doesn't want to make any unfair promises to anyone,” Bleiberg said.
''Gold Coast does not want to offer contracts to players who may not be playing if the competition goes broke.
“Of course, that makes my job harder obviously because I can't offer long-term contracts.''
Bleiberg said a key to the A-League's future was the upcoming television rights deal.
''They have to bring the deal forward and get working on it now,'' Bleiberg said.
''Without the television money, there is no league, and the FFA must prove they believe in the competition by getting a deal done this season. People don't like to invest in things that lose money.
''Any delay on the television deal will be viewed negatively by the owners.
“We also need to have one match, the match of the round, on free-to-air television … half of the clubs in the NRL and AFL would have gone broke if it wasn't for television money.''