Another bid team launched to get Canberra into the A-League

Tim Gavel 7 December 2021 24
The foundation of his football career: Andy Bernal playing for BelSouth FC. Photo: Supplied.

The foundation of his football career: Andy Bernal playing for BelSouth FC. Photo: Supplied.

Football people in Canberra – and there are plenty of them – have long lamented the lack of an A-League Men’s team in this city.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that yet another consortium seeking to secure an A-League licence has emerged.

With the Capital Region Football Collective headed by Michael Caggiano still regarded as a live bid, the emergence of this new syndicate means there are now two groups actively bidding for a Canberra team in the A-League Men’s competition.

There have, of course, been several unsuccessful ‘Canberra for A-League’ bids, most notably in 2009 and 2018. But there remains ever-lasting optimism within the Canberra football community that the city will secure a coveted licence.


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The new syndicate is headed by Canberra football identity, former Socceroo, Andy Bernal.

“We’ve already put a basic proposal to the Australian Professional Leagues,” says Andy.

“It would be a privately owned club and we have financial backing. Our proposal incorporates a business and football plan. It is a commercial model that is sustainable and is community-oriented at all levels.”

Andy Bernal

Andy Bernal says his proposal “is a commercial model that is sustainable and is community-oriented at all levels.” Photo: Supplied.

It will be up to the Australian Professional Leagues to make the final decision on new clubs coming into the competition.

There is a push to increase the number of teams from 12 to 14 by 2023, eventually rising to 16.


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Andy Bernal says his group is well down the track regarding a management structure should they be successful.

“Richard Peil is the CEO of our bid. He is the founder and director of Anytime Fitness Australia and will be the CEO of our club. With over 550,000 active members, he specialises in building brands with passion and spirit, working with stakeholders to bring the community together for a common cause.”

Richard Peil

Richard Peil is the CEO of the new bid. Photo: Supplied.

Bernal says his role will be as director of football and he has already identified a head coach and academy director. He says the bid proposal goes further than finances and football operations.


READ MORE: Canberra born Andy Bernal: The National Capital’s first Socceroo


“MATE internet and mobile telecommunications are part of our bid team. They are already active in the APL landscape with both team and broadcasting involvement.”

More than anything else, though, he says he wants to create a pathway for young male footballers from all walks of life in Canberra. He says his international connections will be important in the pathway process.

Michael Caggiano

Michael Caggiano is leading the first bid team. Photo: Supplied.

Of course, the elephant in the room is Michael Caggiano’s rival bid for an A-League Men’s team in Canberra. Bernal, though, has moved to downplay the perception of rivalry.

“We’re not in competition. Our model is completely different to theirs, and it will be up to the Australian Professional Leagues to decide.”

Canberra has been left at the altar of the A-League Men’s competition several times, but there is optimism within this new bid team that the planets have aligned.


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24 Responses to Another bid team launched to get Canberra into the A-League
Siaosi Aviga Siaosi Aviga 9:55 pm 11 Dec 21

Vivian Williams your chance

Martin Middleton Martin Middleton 9:18 am 11 Dec 21

Good luck Canberra. The sooner we get a fully national football league the better.

Julio Aviles Julio Aviles 12:06 am 11 Dec 21

More like getting us back to the ASL since the days of The Cosmos!

Nick Hansen Nick Hansen 12:54 pm 10 Dec 21

Definitely need a Canberra team in the A League even a 2nd Queensland team ether from the Gold Coast or Townsville North Queensland Tasmanian A League or or a 2nd New Zealand team Auckland

    Tino Pezzimenti Tino Pezzimenti 2:30 pm 10 Dec 21

    Nick Hansen Nth QLD, Gold Coast, Auckland all been done before, all failed.

    Tino Pezzimenti Tino Pezzimenti 2:35 pm 10 Dec 21

    Oops didnt mean for Auckland to be there

    Martin Middleton Martin Middleton 9:17 am 11 Dec 21

    Tino Pezzimenti they failed because Foxtel were obsessed teams needed big crowds.

Nick Elisha Nick Elisha 11:09 am 10 Dec 21

The ACT should absolutely have an A League team.

Sofia Zivkovic Sofia Zivkovic 8:37 pm 09 Dec 21

No point, comp is getting worse each year.

Tim Mitchell Tim Mitchell 1:26 pm 09 Dec 21

The joint A-Leagues men and women trophy really strengthens Canberra's bid. Would be strange having Canberra as the only team with only one team (only women's not men's) in that joint championship for more than another couple of years.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:07 am 09 Dec 21

Sigh, here we go again.

While our sports mad government continues to pay $700K to GWS every time they play at Manuka there is no hope that any money will be available for the round ball game.

There is always UC to pick up the tab though.

Trevor Armitage Trevor Armitage 10:04 pm 08 Dec 21

Well done guys 🤞good luck with your proposal 👍

Emanuel Margaronis Emanuel Margaronis 4:16 pm 08 Dec 21

Now that Foxtel is out of the picture Canberra is a massive chance of getting a side into the A league.

Wollongong and Tasmania deserve teams as well.

We can only hope🙄

    Cyrus Parsa Cyrus Parsa 10:21 pm 08 Dec 21

    Emanuel Margaronis spot on! Foxtel has been the big hurdle for getting a team in Canberra. Hopefully we can have our own team now that they are not having a say.

Joe Gnjec Joe Gnjec 2:43 pm 08 Dec 21

Chris Tanner do we have a realistic chance of getting a A League team in Canberra?

    Chris Tanner Chris Tanner 3:56 pm 08 Dec 21

    Joe ... there is room for Canberra no doubt.

    Need to get people involved that want to help the game, and not their community profile.

    Andy Bernal would be ideal to have involved. The game runs through his veins.

    Danny Moulis would be good if his ego is kept in check. He knows the business of football better than most in town.

    Joe Gnjec Joe Gnjec 8:11 pm 08 Dec 21

    Chris Tanner I hope we can get a team. Football has always been popular at the junior level and it will give local kids another pathway to the A League.

Garvin Francis Garvin Francis 1:45 pm 08 Dec 21

The granting of a licence is based on population size and pay TV revenues/anticipated subscriptions

Toshak Akita Toshak Akita 1:16 pm 08 Dec 21

These two will give it a real good shake...good luck lads...💯⚽️💪

Graeme Liddle Graeme Liddle 10:13 am 08 Dec 21

Awesome work Rich Peil!!!

Can’t wait to support the new CBR team 👍

Jess Peil Jess Peil 9:34 am 08 Dec 21

Could not have a better team driving this second bid. Let’s make this happen ✨✨✨

Clayton McCloud Clayton McCloud 8:20 am 08 Dec 21

Need an inner city stadium first.

Matt Luff Matt Luff 7:45 am 08 Dec 21

Waste of time, FFA and A-League will probably decide to bring in another couple of Sydney and Melbourne teams that no one want

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