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A-League confirms expansion, plans second tier

Australia’s A-League football competition will expand to 12 teams over the next two seasons, after Football Federation Australia awarded licences to bids from Western Melbourne Group and Macarthur South West Sydney.

The new, as-yet unnamed Melbourne team will join the league in October 2019, with the Campbelltown-based Sydney side joining a year later, taking the league to 12 teams for the 2020/21 season, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

FFA chairman Chris Nikou added that this was “not the full stop for the expansion progress” and confirmed that a project to add a second division to Australian football, with relegation and promotion between the two tiers, would begin immediately. The top-tier A-League would eventually comprise “more than 14 teams”, he said.

Both moves are part of a push for greater autonomy from the FFA by the A-League clubs. From the start of next season, the league will spin off into its own independently-run body, owned by the clubs and operating under licence from the FFA.