A-League Expansion


A few things here:

  • Heather Reid may recluse herself from voting.
  • FFA are considering going with 4 clubs (I doubt it but good to see them not dismissing the idea off hand).
  • Wellington’s future is up in the air.


Would like 4 in for next season. 14 team league, home and away = 26 rounds, plus enlarged FFA cup if HAL teams only come in late in the comp. Canberra (has stadium), SW Sydney (stadium), West Melbourne (no stadium yet) and toss up between Team 11 (not yet) and South Melbourne (very small stadium).

Then the year after two more (Wollongong and eg. Brisbane #2, WA # 2). If Welly has to drop out (sad in all sorts of ways but looking more likely) … then things become easier still, including fewer long (and costly) flights and more use of team coach travel.


Talk is cheap at this stage but man this would be incredible:


4 new teams rushed in for next season is a recipe for about three of them folding in 5 years. The standard will drop massively and as a result the product wont be as good.

Also can melbourne handle 4 teams? It will completely kill the thrill of any melbourne derby and hit city hard. Would there be any sub-rivalry that could come out of it (i.e. like a SWS vs Wanderers could be a western sydney derby)


Given that Melbourne doesn’t have Sydney’s hard geographic divides, it’s hard to see the rivalries occurring more naturally like they do here. However, South and Victory already have a bit of history and would probably make for a more intense rivalry than the current Melbourne Derby.


Pretty decent, in depth run down of each bid here…

Western Melbourne and Canberra seem the best first two options with Team 11 and South West Sydney not far behind.

Take the first two now and name the second two now as starters for the season after I reckon.


SE getting desperate, apparently they would’ve played out of Campbelltown


Yeah that’s a clear sign they aren’t confident.


Also a clear sign of their complete willingness to say or do anything to get a team, they have no ‘vision’ for a Southern Sydney team, the HK Developer bankrolling the bid just wants a plaything.


Interestingly, it looks like FFA initiated it:

My read would be this:

  • Southern Expansion are a favourite of the FFA hierarchy because they have money , political clout and, seemingly, a good backroom staff all set up. SWS, while clearly the better choice in many ways, does not have as much money or political power behind them.
  • However, it has become clear in the last couple of months that absolutely no one, including the Wollongong region, wants this. This includes the Wolves and a number of high-profile football people from Wollongong making very public statements. FFA have surely seen this and you can imagine how that would make several of them change their mind from SE to SWS.
  • FFA have decided on SWS but do not want to lose access to the political clout and money that SE would bring. As such they have decided to suggest a merger between the two.

By this reading, this was a last-ditch effort to keep hold of the positives of SE while still keeping the positives of SWS. However, the fact that SWS aren’t willing to play ball indicates that they are pretty confident in their strength as a bid already.


Really glad that the Canberra bid is looking so positive. I really think the region needs a club and it will make for awesome away days.


I think the merger might have been a shot at getting a Sydney team to overtake the Canberra bid. One of the Melbourne teams seems a certainty and I’m guessing the FFA would prefer another Sydney team but neither bids, for various different reasons, present a better bid than Canberra. Collectively that could have changed.

So Melbourne and Canberra look to be the front runners for the two spots.


The problem is which Melbourne though?


I think Team 11 are best placed.


The longer it takes for them to make an announcement the more I think the FFA will bin Wellington. If they made the announcement now why would Wellington’s owners continue to foot the bill for this season?
I think the FFA will add Sth Melb, South West Sydney & Canberra. They can manufacture a rivalry between SWS & Canberra and pay lip service to “old soccer” by bringing back South, who already have a rivalry with anyone who is not them.
The question I have though is which 2 associations are going to give up their FFA Cup Rd.32 slot?


Because they’re contractually obliged to? Because they took season ticket money and fox sports money and could get sued for breech of contract?

While it might sometimes seem otherwise in football with players being able to get out of contracts, they’re legally enforceable, and I’m pretty certain the FFA and Fox Sports would go after Weilly if they tried to cut and run.


So, the average Raiders crowd last season was ~11k.

And that was for a sport people actually like watching! For football, scientifically and objectively, I’d have to say they can expect to average 6000 in a good season.


At some point people are going to have to get comfortable with teams averaging under 10k or we are never going to be able to expand.


Does that apply to Melbourne City?


A-League clubs ask Football Federation Australia to put expansion decision back a year

DECEMBER 09, 2018

FOOTBALL Federation Australia is coming under growing pressure from the A-League clubs to delay expansion, 48 hours before the new FFA board is due to decide whether to add two teams for next season.

A-League expansion is the main agenda item of Wednesday’s FFA board meeting, the first of the post-Lowy era, after the previous board opted to postpone the announcement set for last October.

FFA were due to name the two new clubs, likely to be from Melbourne and Sydney although Canberra United are viewed as outsiders. Six bids remain in mix.

The south east Melbourne based Team 11, Western Melbourne and former NSL club South Melbourne are the three live Victorian bids. Southern Expansion, taking in St George, Sutherland and the Illawarra, and South West Sydney are the other two.

In a sign of the competing pressures tightening on FFA’s executive ahead of the massive call, a delegation of the five biggest clubs told CEO David Gallop that he should recommend delaying expansion by a year when he briefs the board on Wednesday.

The owners of Melbourne Victory and City, Sydney FC, the Wanderers and Brisbane Roar told Gallop that provisional licenses should be awarded to two of the bidders, with the new teams coming into the A-League in 2020-21 subject to fulfilling certain criteria.

It’s understood the five owners argued that none of the six bids on the table was advanced enough to be rushed into the league next season, despite FFA management having argued it remains confident expansion can be managed successfully in just 10 months.

However, in a sign of the myriad viewpoints at play, at least one A-League owner maintains he was not aware that the delegation would meet Gallop.

Though all have now submitted their formal bids, including the final sum they are prepared to pay as a licence fee, there remains significant jockeying for position in the final hours.

That included brief discussion of a marriage of the two Sydney consortiums on Friday that was quickly shot down by the South-West Sydney group which intends to play its games at Campbelltown Stadium.

On Wednesday the new FFA board, elected only last month, will meet with expansion the major item on its agenda. However it remains unclear which of the six directors will be able to vote on it, as the three newly elected members – Heather Reid, Joseph Carrozzi, and Remo Nogarotto – all have links to some of the bidders.

Under the FFA Constitution, at least four directors are required for a quorum, which could potentially raise governance issues for the new board. FFA has been approached for comment.

The board is also likely to consider appointing extra directors, including the former Labor senator Steven Conroy, though it’s believed that is more likely to happen in February.