Canberra’s bid for A-league expansion has passed the first stage after being named in the ten-team shortlist, with two clubs set to join the A-league for the start of the 2019-20 season.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) received 15 submissions during the initial expressions of interest stage, with five bids cut from the shortlist.
FFA have said they are looking for two clubs who have the strongest potential for long-term sustainability while also growing the commercial attraction and popular support for the league.
Canberra’s successful bid will compete against three Sydney bids, three Melbourne bids, Brisbane, Ipswich, and Wollongong Wolves for the envied two spots.
FFA Chief Executive David Gallop said the process remained highly competitive.
“FFA’s job is to get the best outcome for the Hyundai A-League and football as a whole,” he said.
“That means granting licences that will complement the existing Hyundai A-League clubs, link back into fans and the football history in their local community, help to develop football pathways for more players, increase interest from sponsors and broadcasters, have solid financial backing and operate sustainably.
“Expansion has created enormous interest and attracted 15 groups to come forward from around the country. Once we get these two new clubs established for the season after next we intend to add more clubs in future years.”
This is the second time Canberra has tried to crack into the A-League after Ivan Slavich led an unsuccessful bid 10 years ago.
Final binding bids are due by 31 August and the announcement of the new licences is planned to be made by 31 October 2018.
10 team shortlist:
- South West Sydney FC
- United for Macarthur (Sydney)
- Southern Expansion (Sydney region)
- Team 11 (Melbourne)
- South Melbourne FC
- Western Melbourne Group
- Brisbane City FC
- Ipswich Pride FC
- Canberra & Capital Region