Lions coach Leppitsch to get new deal

A new contract for Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch is imminent, according to chief executive Greg Swann.

Swann told reporters on Monday the Lions were “close” to finalising a one-year extension for Leppitsch, which would keep him at the helm of the battling club until the end of the 2017 season.

“We’re controlling the message – we’ll announce it when we need to, but it’s not far away,” he said.

“More than likely (one year) will be the option.

“I’ll let you know when it’s done.”

Leppitsch has won just one quarter of his games in charge of Brisbane but with the team in the thick of an extensive rebuild, Lions powerbrokers are keen to take the pressure off the three-time premiership player, who was dogged by constant speculation over his future last year.

Meanwhile, the Lions are still looking for a new training and administration base with a proposed shift from their ageing facilities at the Gabba to the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre seemingly off the table.

Swann said it was “probably unlikely” the Lions would move into the Nathan complex, which is set to be transformed into a dedicated netball centre following a $30 million commitment from the state government to the Queensland Firebirds last year.

“Netball have got that, they’re dominating it, they’ve got their $30 million, they’re building their Taj Mahal and there’s not much room for anybody else,” he said.

That leaves just two remaining options – a site near Brisbane Airport, or an upgrade of their current fields at Coorparoo.

The Lions even opened talks with Brisbane Roar about sharing a facility, until it emerged the A-League club was further along in planning for a more “purpose-built” training base for soccer, Swann said.

But whatever one they pursue, there is still one major missing ingredient.

“It’s all about the money,” Swann said.

“No matter where we go, the same issue – we need some government or council funding to get us over the hump.

“We don’t want to incur further debt to move and unless we get some sort of assistance, that’s what’s going to happen.

“If anyone’s got some spare cash, tell them to ring me.”

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