Two New Teams Expected To Join The A-League Next Season
A looming call on expansion will dash the dreams of some A-League expansion hopefuls but FFA will soften the blow for those who miss out on admission to the competition.
After a year-long process, football's governing body has gathered in Sydney to make recommendations on expanding the league for the first time since 2012.
It's expected two teams will be chosen as 'preferred bidders' by the governing body and announced on Thursday at a noon press conference.
A host of scenarios are possible for each of the six bidders, including inclusion next season, a delay until 2020/21 or a new pathway for a license after FFA get to 12 teams.
This expansion phase aims to grow the 10-team competition to 16 sides, which means whatever the outcome from Wednesday's meeting, there will be further avenues to inclusion.
And not just for the unsuccessful among the six bidders: frontrunners Team 11 in Melbourne's South-East and South-West Sydney, as well as Canberra, South Melbourne, Western Melbourne and Sydney's Southern Expansion.
FFA will re-open the door for other consortia -- particularly from Brisbane -- seeking to gain entry, given their eagerness to create a derby in the Queensland capital.
The six bidders spent the nervous countdown thanking their supporters and making final pleas.
Western Melbourne Group made a last-ditch statement focused on its "Football First" message, which includes a privately-owned stadium to be used only for the round-ball code.
"Every bid and region can claim to have the metrics, population, diversity, passion and participants but we have focused on delivering what is best for the game," it read.
"No doubt any new stadium will bring economic and cultural benefits to their region but let's not argue about who is more deserving, let's focus on what isbest for football."
The Canberra bid thanked its 8000 'foundation members' that signed up online and over 100 volunteers.
"The one thing that has struck the bid team throughout this process is the amazing level of support from football supporters across the ACT and Southern NSW region," it read.