VERDICT: FQ rules on Buccaneers’ licence threat
FOOTBALL Queensland will not revoke the Buccaneers' FQ Premier League license and has assured Wide Bay's football community it will work with the club to develop and secure its future.
It ends 10 days of uncertainty which started when the Buccaneers withdrew its under-18 team from the FQPL due to a lack of players.
A show cause notice was issued on Monday, July 9, with potential penalties under the competition regulations including fines and the club's FQPL licence being revoked.
The NewsMail exclusively obtained a copy of Football Queensland Wide Bay's 14-page document, authorised by club president Stuart Taylor, in response to the show cause.
The document highlights how young players were forced to play multiple games, placing players as young as 15 under mental and physical duress as they struggled to field a team in the U18s and U20s competitions, to satisfy competition requirements.
The Buccaneers initially gained community support with the belief it, like other "regional" clubs, would have to field teams in only five mandatory age groups, but the FQ board later revised its decision, forcing the Buccaneers to field teams in all seven age groups.
The number of under-age players backing up for the U18 and U20 teams increased as the season wore on. On five separate occasions, four or more U16 players took the field for the U18 team to ensure the club could satisfy fixtures.
In the Round 12 games against Rochedale Rovers, four U16 players were part of the U18 team that lost 11-0. Ten U18s then played in a 10-0 loss to the Rovers' U20s.
In a statement issued yesterday, it was stated FQ "understands the unique challenges the Wide Bay Buccaneers has faced in its inaugural Football Queensland Premier League season" and that no sanction will be applied. It also includes FQ's commitment to work with the Buccaneers in the future.
The Buccaneers host Souths United in Bundaberg on Saturday.