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Fifteen groups express interest in A-League franchise

Football Federation Australia has today (Friday) confirmed it has received interest from 15 groups seeking to be given a licence to play in the top-tier A-League.

FFA did not disclose details of the interested parties but the Guardian newspaper reported that one bid has been submitted by a group based in Australian Capital Territory, four from New South Wales, three from Queensland, four from Victoria, and one each from South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.

FFA chief executive David Gallop said the high level of interest represents a positive for the league and for Australian football.

“We started this process looking forward to seeing how many groups would emerge that are genuinely interested in investing in the new clubs and growing the Hyundai A-League,” Gallop said. “As of last night we have evidence that the interest is genuine, thoughtful and committed.

“We look forward to continuing to work with these groups, the existing clubs, member federations and other stakeholders to make expansion a success for the whole of football.”

The submissions will be assessed over the next week to 10 days. Thereafter, the bids that meet the expression of interest criteria will be invited into the request for proposal stage where they will be provided with more in-depth information by FFA to enable them to prepare more detailed submissions. That process is scheduled to begin on June 11.

FFA last month teamed up with professional and financial services company Deloitte to aid the expansion process for the A-League. The body formally commenced the process in March.

FFA hopes to announce two new clubs in October. The clubs would join the A-League from the 2019-20 season. The A-League has comprised 10 teams since the addition of the Western Sydney Wanderers in 2012, and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are reported to be the leading contenders for the new clubs.