There will be a new approach to future A-League expansion with club bosses to determine which regions will get new franchises as part of a plan to boost the competition to 16-teams.
SBS The World Game
15 Aug 2019 - 3:54 PM  UPDATED 15 Aug 2019 - 4:26 PM

In a reversal of the system used by Football Federation Australia in the competition's most recent expansion, where bids from all across the nation were accepted, the new approach will dictate what region the league will expand into and accept only bids from that area.

The move could mean New Zealand may be set for it's second side with the Sydney Morning Herald reporting Auckland, Brisbane and Canberra are being considered as prospective expansion areas. 

Key markets for the A-League will be key to the new plan with consumer numbers and TV viewership helping decide what areas would achieve long-term success for any potential franchise and the competition itself.

A particular focus will be put on creating more rivalries against existing teams and in important TV markets.

Potential ownership groups will be given the chance to bid for specific licences, rather than choose their own region or base, with each submission to be judged on criteria including commercial viability and stadium plans.

With Western United to join the A-League this season and Macarthur FC to be introduced in 2020/21, any plans for future expansion won't be put into action until 2021 when The A-League's governing boy would invite bids from pre-determined markets. 

Two new teams could then be announced by 2022 and play their first seasons in 2023 in time for the A-League's next TV deal.

The SMH report also claims Wellington Phoenix's place in the competition will be safe for the foreseeable future despite the Kiwi franchise's limited contribution to revenue and viewership.

Club owners have backed the franchise for the time being with discussions about the Phoenix's future taking a back seat with teams banding together this season to help boost crowd and TV numbers.