Football Federation Australia have today announced that the A-League will be expanded with two new teams.
After an acrimonious A-League reform saga, the new board have attempted to put that behind them with a hotly contested expansion announcement.
With 6 teams vying for position, South Melbourne, Western Melbourne (Werribee/Geelong), South-East Melbourne (Team 11), Canberra, Southern Expansion Cronulla and Macarthur South West Sydney Campbelltown.
The two new teams will be the South West Sydney Campelltown bid, and Western Melbourne.
Western Melbourne will join the league immediately next season, with games being played at the AFL stadium in Geelong, with expectations that a new stadium would be built by the owners of the club along with some infrastructure support via the Victorian and Local Governments, to be done within 3 years. South West Sydney will join the A-League the year after West Melbourne in 2020/21, playing at Campbelltown Stadium, that appears set for some kind of refurbishing.
There are reports that the Wanderers lobbed successfully to delay the introduction of the South West Sydney team and the news will disappoint those of the losing bids, and those who wanted the FFA to be bold and expand with four teams.
In my opinion, this is the least the FFA could have done to help push the A-League. Instead of a bold push with four teams that could take the A-League to another level, the FFA have fallen back on their tired catchphrase of "metrics", which really just means "the bids that gave us the most cash for a license fee". That Canberra will not be in the competition is a disgrace, and many will feel the same way about the ex-NSL club South Melbourne being effectively blackballed.
However, at least it's not Southern Expansion.