I hear ya.
Pumping up the squad with HAL grade players is not the answer. Popa is able to squeeze the last drop of performance out of mediocre players with a focus on training intensity, fitness, and discipline. But S5 everyone (including the man himself) realized that this approach only gets you this far with players like Borda, Bruno, Melling, Dimas, Jumpei, Lustica, Bulut, Clisby.
Short term: increase the number of imports. The "good" Aussies that are hanging around in the HAL are seen as quality players and are paid reasonably well because of that, and because there's only few of them. But Brilliante, O'Neill, Davidson etc - they aren't THAT good. You can get a better football import professional for the same money. It would improve the quality of the squad immediately, and local players would have to work harder to make the match day squad.
Mid to long term: increase the squad size with more competent youth players, and that means a focus on youth development. MB and his coaching group lifted the capabilities of our youth players significantly as the season progressed, and we are going to see more of that. If one young wanderer per season makes the jump to Europe, it will be motivation for the other ambitious youngsters.
The clubs want more of the broadcast deal which is the only way to get better quality players and/or increase squad size.
The best way to do get better quality visa players is remove some of the restrictions imposed by the FFA like having rent paid or a specific allowance for it outside the cap. Also, take the car allowance outside the cap. The FFA insists these are part of the cap. I think that the visa players should have a restriction in terms of position for each team: 1 defender, 1 midfielder, 1 forward with the other 2 not All being the same type of position e.g. cannot have 1 defender, 1 midfielder, 3 forwards. So 2 defenders max, 2 midfielders max or 2 forwards max.
To increase squad size, obviously the cap total per club has to increase with less money for Gallop. there could be 2 NPL rookies allowed per season both outside the cap.