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Big-mouth Aussie club owner proves that silence is golden

Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer has been counting the cost of freedom of speech this week after having his A-League licence revoked by the Football Federation of Australian (FFA).

His crime was his refusal to back down in a row over the club's new slogan which saw United's jerseys, and signage at Skilled Park, displaying the words 'freedom of speech' last weekend, apparently in reference to his bitter battle with the sport's governing body.

The FFA had previously been left fuming when Palmer was quoted in a newspaper saying football was a 'hopeless' game and that he preferred rugby league.

The association then revoked the mining magnate's licence on a charge of bringing the game into disrepute, but the FFA has convinced the players to fulfil their remaining league fixtures after giving financial support.

Palmer has failed in a last-ditch legal bid to stay in control of the club leaving the man who pumped in Aus$18m (€14.65m) out in the cold. Palmer responded by launching an organisation, Football Australia, aimed at ending the governing body's "dictatorship" of the local game -- the perfect platform for Palmer to continue shooting from the lip.

Irish Independent