The six bids that remain in the running for two new A-League licences are now eagerly awaiting a Football Federation Australia board meeting on December 12 to learn whether expansion will take place next season or be further delayed.
Team 11’s bid, representing 1.7 million people in the south-east of Victoria, is one of three bids from this state still in the mix, with South Melbourne FC and the Western Melbourne Group also surviving FFA’s most recent shortlisting in October.
A decision as to what bids would receive those licences was initially slated for October 31, but that decision was delayed as a result of the fallout from changes made to FFA’s Congress make-up earlier that month.
On Monday, Victorian Chris Nikou was announced as the new Chairman of FFA – taking over from Steven Lowy – with three new board members also elected: Heather Reid, Joseph Carrozzi and Remo Nogarotto.
Nikou later told media his new board’s No.1 priority is expansion of the A-League, but whether a verdict would be able to be reached in enough time to enable the two chosen bids to be ready for season 2019-20 remains to be seen.
“Expansion is very very important, it’s probably the number one priority the new board will need to address,” Nikou said.
“What I’d like to see happen is that the new board members get given a proper and detailed briefing of the merits of each of the bids and as soon as we can get through that process it will be the first order of business for the new board.
“I’d certainly like to see it for the following A-League season if we can. It won’t be through lack of trying, but we will do a measured analysis of the bids and make a decision that we think is in the best interests of football in Australia. If we can do it for next year it will certainly be my wish that we do it.”
The other bids still in the running for a new licence are Southern Expansion (NSW), South West Sydney Macarthur (NSW) and Canberra (ACT).