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FFA unveils 10-team shortlist for A-League expansion

Ten groups have progressed to the next stage of Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) selection process for two expansion franchise slots in the country’s top-tier A-League.

Three teams each from the Melbourne and Sydney regions made the shortlist – Team 11 (Dandenong), South Melbourne and the Western Melbourne Group; and South West Sydney FC, United for Macarthur (Sydney) and Southern Expansion (Sydney region) respectively.

Brisbane City FC, Ipswich Pride FC, Canberra & Capital Region and Wollongong also progressed to the next stage.

Five bids were cut from the 15 initial expressions of interest, with Tasmania considered to be the surprise exclusion due to its heritage of the sport. Belgravia Leisure (Melbourne), Gold Coast, Fremantle and West Adelaide also missed out.

Financial and professional services company Deloitte is advising the FFA regarding the process. The next bidding phase will begin in July, the FFA said, with the 10 parties invited to “a data room containing a range of Hyundai A-League related information and the ability to ask additional questions and engage with FFA and Deloitte.”

The final bids are then due to be submitted on August 31, with the FFA set to make a final decision on the expansion franchises on October 31.

“FFA's job is to get the best outcome for the Hyundai A-League and football as a whole,” FFA chief executive David Gallop said. “That means granting licences that will complement the existing Hyundai A-League clubs, link back into fans and the football history in their local community, help to develop football pathways for more players, increase interest from sponsors and broadcasters, have solid financial backing and operate sustainably.

“Expansion has created enormous interest and attracted 15 groups to come forward from around the country. Once we get these two new clubs established for the season after next we intend to add more clubs in future years.”

The A-League has comprised 10 teams since the addition of the Western Sydney Wanderers in 2012.