Why did Brisbane terminate Corey Brown’s contract?

It has been a tough 18 months for Brisbane Roar with poor results on the field and a dressing room divide within the squad.

This off-season there has been cause for renewed optimism, with the signing of one of English football’s deadliest strikers, Charlie Austin.

However, the club are once again the talk of the A-League – for all the wrong reasons.

Left-back Corey Brown sensationally had his contract terminated and Brisbane sent out one of the bluntest press releases that the A-League has ever seen.

In fewer than 30 words, it read: “Brisbane Roar FC wishes to advise of the termination of the contract of defender Corey Brown. The club wishes him well for his future endeavours.”

There was no mention of Brown’s past at the AIS where he was one of the most underrated players, in a side that featured ex-A-League alumni like Jesse Makarounas and Jake Baker-Daish.

The player’s time with Australia’s underage national teams was also conveniently missing, as was the fact Brown has played over 130 matches and was one of the Roar’s most tenured players after several seasons at the club.

In another turn of events in this ongoing saga, the PFA (Professional Footballers Australia) sent out a very strong press release.

“As the club is aware, Corey has initiated judicial proceedings to dispute Brisbane Roar’s termination of his contract,” the statement read.

“As a consequence of this legal action, Corey’s contract remains on foot until a final determination is made. This is something the club, deliberately or otherwise, is failing to understand.

“As the club continues to operate well below the expected standards of a professional football club, the PFA’s primary focus remains on protecting Corey’s wellbeing – something the club seems to have little regard for.”

Whether Brown or Brisbane is at fault in this is all a matter of public perception – but there is some information which may alter views.

Corey Brown of Brisbane Roar looks to pass the ball.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Corey Brown’s contract was due to come to an end on June 30th, 2022 after an injury plagued 2021-22 season – the player is currently rehabbing an injury.

A-League clubs have a history of triggering contract extensions when a player has missed a large portion of football due to injuries.

Sydney FC did this with Michael Zullo, while Adelaide United gave extensions due to ACL surgeries to Nathan Konstandopoulos as well as Nick Ansell.

Where this plot thickens and starts to get even more muddier is all to do with Melbourne Victory.

Brown had previously played for the Victory and is well regarded by their hierarchy and, in particular, current coach, Tony Popovic.

After season 2021-22 had ended, Brown went to Melbourne, where he innocuously spent time with ex-teammates who he is still very good friends with.

Melbourne Victory’s interest in the player, however, seems to be no more with Kike Cadete signed as the first-choice left-back and Noah Smith as his understudy.

Brown now appears to be in limbo, with no other A-League sides currently showing any interest and Brisbane unable to agree to a mutual termination of his contract.

Brown’s professionalism over the course of his seven-year tenure has been exemplary by all reports and it appears as though Brisbane may have tried to find any form of breech to immediately cancel Brown’s contract.

For some context, Brisbane Roar do have a chequered history with player payments.

Superannuation was previously not paid to Luke Brattan and the club infamously tried to keep Brett Holman’s insurance claim payout.

In all likelihood Brisbane Roar with the consultation of the PFA will come to some form of agreement and a non-disclosure agreement will be put in place – so no party associated will ever speak of it publicly again.

It’s never a dull off-season in the A-League.

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