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A-League looking to return in August, complete season in one month

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A-League hierarchy want the season to resume and also finish in the month of August.

Clubs are planning to train in July before a competition return in August, though Football Federation Australia (FFA) is yet to outline firm resumption dates.

Adelaide United’s football director Bruce Djite says the five remaining rounds, plus finals, could be condensed within a single month.

All games are likely to be played in Sydney.

“My understanding is they (Football Federation Australia) want the season completed by the end of August,” Djite told reporters on Wednesday.

“So mathematically, three games a week … you could knock it out in four or five weeks.

“Then you work back from that and say you need at least four, five weeks training, so you’re looking at late June, early July.

“But there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge.

“The PFA (Professional Footballers Australia) has got to sit down with the FFA and the clubs and nut out what that cost base is going to be for the players and, logistically, all those sorts of things.

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“There’s still a lot of unknowns.”

The Reds stood down players when the season was suspended on March 24 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The most pressing detail before any resumption was player payments, Djite said.

“The boys aren’t coming back to train on JobKeeper,” he said.

“Those discussions have to be had as a matter of urgency, so there’s clarity from players’ mindset and there’s clarity for clubs in financial management of what the cost is going to be.

“At the moment there’s no revenues and we don’t know what the cost base looks like to finish off the season.

“That is probably the next most critical decision to be made; one, for the players, what are they going to get paid to come back and train and finish the season, and, two, how does that fit into the cost base.”

Djite said United were “happy” for all remaining matches to be played in Sydney.

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But he doubted Adelaide’s foreign players would be able to return for the remainder of the league because of travel restrictions.

German-born midfielder Mirko Boland and Dutch-based Michael Maria remain overseas.

United have parted with coach Gertjan Verbeek, who won’t return from the Netherlands.

Djite said the Reds want an Australian as their next coach but the selection process can’t advance until there was certainty about this season’s resumption and a start date of next season.

© AAP