Much to the frustration of football fans around the country, there was no announcement from the offices at 1 Oxford Street by the close of business on Wednesday.
However, it wouldn’t likely be one that would hold back plans for two new teams to enter as early as next season. The bookmakers clearly have their favourites, with the bid from Brisbane FC expected to make the cut alongside one of the other four.
It is understood a strong push took place inside the board room to progress with the competition’s growth, adding a minimum of two new teams at the earliest possible opportunity, with an announcement set for midday on Thursday.
It comes just a week after FFA senior management highlighted a lack of urgency for a decision, suggesting the expansion process could even be concluded as late as January. – by the Melbourne City will have already won the title!
Privately, sources close to the new FFA board expressed their desire to resolve the matter immediately while holding back their announcement for a press conference on Thursday.
It means those behind Macarthur-South West Sydney, Southern Expansion, Canberra and Melbourne bids Team 11, Western Melbourne Group and South Melbourne will face an anxious wait for the verdict.
Sources suggest that, dependent on permutations, Macarthur-South West Sydney, Canberra, West Melbourne and Team 11 are in the box seat for licences.
The FFA board may not necessarily only deliver two licenses with suggestions planning is already in place for the competition’s growth towards a 16-team competition.
No outcome was left off the table at Wednesday’s marathon board meeting, whether it be the number of licenses issued, the schedule of expansion, conditions of entry such as stadia and of course, the financial windfall delivered from the process.
It’s understood that the board also discussed how the current expansion process would fit with a national second division and new A-League operating model.