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The FFA has today announced that the number of A-League expansion bids under consideration will be reduced from eight to six, with both the Wollongong Wolves and Ipswich Pride FC, unfortunately, missing the cut.
“Since receiving the eight bids, we have carefully evaluated information provided and commitments made by the bidding parties. It was clear certain bids were stronger than others,” FFA CEO David Gallop said in a press release.
“We appreciate the efforts of the teams from Wollongong and Ipswich, who both put a considerable amount of work towards this process.
We were impressed with their professionalism and we encourage them each to continue to work towards further strengthening their credentials as we continue to grow the A-League footprint in [the] coming years,” he said.
The news means the upcoming expansion licenses are still being considered for Southern Expansion (NSW), Macarthur South-West Sydney, Western Melbourne, Team 11 (VIC), South Melbourne and Canberra.
The A-League has been looking to add another two teams in time for the 2019-20 season, initially fielding ten bids from interested parties last year. Brisbane City were the first to pull out, while Macarthur and South-West Sydney combined their bids before the shortlist of eight was released last August.
“We have six bids that all have positive aspects but require further work in certain areas. We need to continue our consultation with those bid teams to ensure that they adequately address these areas to ensure their future sustainability, which includes securing stadia, catchment area and financial capital.
“It is critical that FFA can be satisfied the successful bidders will be sustainable from day one as well as meet a variety of commitments that will benefit the longer-term growth of the Hyundai A-League.
“We look forward to continuing to work with these groups, the existing clubs and other stakeholders to make expansion a success for the whole of football,” Gallop added.
Plans for expansion are expected to be finalised at the next meeting of the FFA board in November of this year.