Roar sued by council over $164k bill
A long-running dispute between one of the country's premier football clubs and a major southside council over non-payment of bills has ended up in a court spat.
Logan City Council is suing Brisbane Roar Football Club for almost $164,000, claiming the club failed to pay bills for leasing playing fields and council property.
The council's District Court claim said the football club owed it $152,414 for unpaid water, electricity and other charges, and another $1300, under a gym membership agreement.
But the Roar is set to defend the claim saying a previous agreement meant they weren't liable for the charges.
In its claim totalling $163,898, the council also alleged the club had failed to pay $149,973 in outgoings and charges since October, 2018 and $2441 in electricity bills.
The row started in July last year, months after Logan City Council was dissolved and an interim administrator installed and four years after the Roar started talks with the council to move into the property at Heritage Park.
In its claim, the council said it leased the premises to the club from mid 2018 until June, 2023.
The council claim said under the deal, the club had to pay rent as a contribution to water rates and charges, sewerage, cleaning and garbage collection along with a fire levy.
The claim said the lease terms also included the club paying all outgoings and to "promptly pay" electricity, phone and gas charges for equipment or apparatus used in the clubhouse.
Gym fees amounting to $1300 were also part of the council claim, which said 65 Roar staff and players were charged $5 per person per week for unrestricted access to three local gyms.
Along with the use of Logan Metro Sports Centre at Crestmead; Logan North Aquatic and Fitness Centre at Underwood and Mt Warren Sports Centre at Mt Warren Park the staff and players could also use the pool at Logan North Aquatic and Fitness Centre.
Both sides said they have sent letters and emails to the other party over the past year asking to set up meetings to discuss outstanding bills and the club's future.
The club, which has its players quarantined until September 7 after completing the season in Sydney, was yet to file its defence.
But CEO David Pourre said the Roar would defend the claims.
He said the council enticed the club to Logan to raise the city's profile and under a deal struck with previous councillors the water bills were waived.
Mr Pourre said before 2019, the club had never received water bills and Roar officials had tried to meet with council officers to discuss issues at the Heritage Park facility including the water grievances.
He said the council was charging the Roar to water council fields.
"Under the current agreement, the football pitch used by our Hyundai A-League squad has been watered consistently at the same time and for the same duration twice per week during summer and once per week during cooler periods," he said.
"However, bills presented to Brisbane Roar have been wildly inconsistent, differing by more than $50,000 per quarter in comparison to previous bills.
"Quarterly water bills presented to Brisbane Roar Football Club have well exceeded that of neighbouring organisations and co-tenants of the Heritage Park facility, despite the club operating just the one pitch in comparison to Football Brisbane's three.
"All other bills from Logan City Council have been serviced by Brisbane Roar."
Mr Pourre said club representatives were keen to meet Logan councillors to explain the "totality" of the relationship that existed since 2015.
However, he said the club had not considered moving out of Logan and hoped the matter would be resolved amicably.
Originally published as Roar sued by council over $164k bill