The embarrassing gaffe that saw the man of the match award handed to the wrong player added to a grand final debacle Hyundai A-League bosses could have done without.
After the controversial match-deciding penalty that earned the Brisbane Roar back-to-back titles, Roar playmaker Thomas Broich was called forward and handed the Joe Marston Medal as the final's best player.
An hour later, after what A-League supremo Lyall Gorman described as an "administrative error", Perth Glory captain Jacob Burns was, at the post-match media conference in the bowels of Suncorp Stadium, handed the medal.
Small consolation for Burns who was rightly miffed that he and his players had been denied the chance to play 30 minutes of extra time when referee Jarred Gillett awarded the penalty deep into the four minutes of added time.
Even Besart Berisha, who won the controversial call from a Liam Miller "non-tackle", was uncertain, admitting at one point the call was wrong. But later he said he felt the referee had got it right.
At best it was harsh, at worse there was a real degree of uncertainty.
It was a sad way to end an up-and-down season but one which produced a fantastic finale in front of a 50,000-plus crowd - most resplendent in the Roar's orange.
Pity that yet again such an important match was decided on a referee's call which again brings the code's refusal to embrace technology into question.
There was little to deny Brisbane's claim as the best team in the league although many will support Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold's assertion that his team as minor premiers were the true champions - the best team over 27 regular season games. That the main leagues around the world find their "champion" without the need for a final at the end of a long season backs that.
In setting an Australian sporting record for the longest unbeaten run in any code Ange Postecoglou and his Brisbane players fully deserved their kudos but that became somewhat tarnished as they then fell away and eventually left the Mariners, who too had a solid season, to collect the Premiers Plate.
Perth had their moments, especially at the start and finish of the season and after seeing off the Wellington Phoenix at home went on to claim a first grand final appearance. But for some bad luck - including a face-rearranging clash for star striker Shane Smeltz early in the contest - and that penalty call they may well have gone on to make their season truly memorable.
The same could not be said for glamour clubs Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC although the latter did make the top-six playoffs only to have their season ended in Wellington.
Big spending on big-name players does not guarantee big results as the Phoenix showed in coming back from pre-season off-field woes and limited funds. The challenge for coach Ricki Herbert and his backers is to build on what many saw as a surprise top four finish and make the big push to claim the real booty.
Elsewhere, there was the usual spate of coaches being pushed or jumping off the merry-go-round and, more disconcertingly, the wrangles between club owners and Football Federation Australia which saw struggling Gold Coast United follow North Queensland Fury into oblivion and the Newcastle Jets threatening to follow.
Only hard talking and some give and take will save that battle.
The league does not need an uneven number of teams but unless the Jets are coerced back into the fold, that remains a reality. The inclusion of a second Sydney team will cover Gold Coast's departure but the Jets must stay or see the league down to nine teams for the 2012-13 season.
That would be a bad look.By Terry Maddaford Email Terry