It was three weeks later than promised - perhaps someone had forgotten the World Cup in their timeline? - but FFA has today announced a long short list of ten bidders to take part in the next stage of A-League expansion.

They are:

  • the two south-west Sydney bids, who must surely be asked to stick their heads together and come up with one bid in the interests of football in the region. They are formally known as South West Sydney FC and 'United for Macarthur';
  • the peripatetic Southern Expansion (southern Sydney), which intends having a different home ground every three games until they eventually settle in Sydney FC 'territory' of Cronulla;
  • Team 11, based around Dandenong in Melbourne; 
  • two former NSL teams, South Melbourne and Brisbane City;
  • Western Melbourne; and
  • three regional teams - Canberra, Ipswich and Wollongong.

Those that didn't make the cut are Tasmania, Gold Coast, West Adelaide, Fremantle and Belgravia headed by former Melbourne Victory Chairman, Geoff Lord.

In their announcement today, FFA reiterated that they intend to grant licences for two new clubs to join the A-League from the 2019-20 season. We have previously reported that the agreement with FOX Sports, which already includes the 'additionality' for two new teams specifies that the two expansion teams must come from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 

Many commentators and fans would like to see the competition expanded by more than two clubs to at least 14, as promised by former FFA Chairman Frank Lowy ten years ago. 

The 15 bids were analysed by FFA and Deloitte against set criteria with additional information sought from all parties. 

Those shortlisted will be provided with further information next month - including the all-important license fee - with final, binding bids due by the end of August. Announcement of the new licenses is scheduled to be made by the end of October. 

Consideration of A-League expansion comes against the backdrop of the Congress Review Working Group which is meeting again in Melbourne this weekend, to nut-out the governance structure for football that is meant to be fit-for-purpose for at least the next 15-20 years. The Working Group, chaired by former F1 senior executive Judith Griggs, is to report to FIFA by the end of July.

As well as A-League expansion, work on the introduction of a national second division is progressing with an analysis and assumptions recently sent to members of another working group looking at a national second division. 

It is understood that an independent entity to run the A-League is favoured by most Working Group members, and the A-League clubs are keen for greater expansion than that envisaged by the current FFA Board. 

Categories: News | A-League

a-league, a-league expansion

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