It’s an extremely exciting time for football, with Western Melbourne Group joining the bid for a new A-League licence alongside fourteen other hopeful teams. The Football Federation Australia will eventually only accept one team from this bidding phase, as part of their plans to expand the A-League to twelve teams for the 2019-20 season, with one more for the 2020-21 season.
The A-League expansion announcement was made back in February, and will be a boost that’s badly needed for football in Australia, although it will be a slow drip with the two new teams being staggered over two seasons.
Each team has laid out big plans to join the league, including their unique selling points, financial capacity and ideas around engaging fans which will be extremely important as a brand new team. Western Melbourne Group is one of four hopefuls for Victoria, as well as Team 11, South Melbourne and Belgravia Leisure.
This expansion will hopefully also see clubs being allowed more say in how the league is run and provide even more investment opportunities for the teams. The plan is that this will in turn increase the audience for the A-League, with more game attendance and TV audiences, marketing the league as something fresh, new and exciting. It will also give even more opportunities for Australian football players and create more (friendly) rivalries and build up excitement around the game.
Football Federation Australia Chairman, Chris Nikou, said that the level of interest in joining the A-League from groups shows the massive potential for the game in Australia.
The winning team will hopefully be announced at the end of this year.