Competition healthy for Hyundai A-League Print
Written by Football Federation Australia   
Tuesday, 03 June 2008 22:47

Ten expressions of interest from groups interested in obtaining a license for a Hyundai A-League club were considered by the Board of Football Federation Australia (FFA) today.

"The number of proposals we have received reflects the momentum behind the growth and development of the Hyundai A-League," said FFA CEO, Ben Buckley.

The regions covered by the proposals are western Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Townsville.

Buckley said FFA had received a new bid from a leading Gold Coast businessman, Clive Palmer.

"We will now start exclusive negotiations with Mr Palmer's consortium, Gold Coast United."

Buckley said that FFA was also in active discussions with two consortia interested in a Townsville-based Hyundai A-League Club - led by Melbourne businesswoman Milissa Fischer, and local businessman Don Matheson.

"We are having further discussions with both Ms Fischer's and Mr Matheson's groups and we expect to be entering into exclusive negotiations with one of them by the end of this month," Buckley said.

Other proposals received today include three seeking to have the second Melbourne license, two groups vying for the western Sydney license and one covering Wollongong and the NSW south coast.

The FFA Board Hyundai A-League Expansion sub-Committee will consider the Melbourne, western Sydney and Wollongong proposals further, and will determine a process and timeframe to award further licenses.

"We are very encouraged with the level of interest in the Hyundai A-League," Buckley said.

"Since it commenced three years ago, it has had 'cut through' in the busy Australian sporting landscape with average crowds, viewership, membership, media coverage and profitability trending upwards each season.

"The attractiveness of the competition is clearly reflected in the level of interest in the additional licenses."

FFA's view is that the Hyundai A-League has the capacity to be at least a 12 team competition.

"When and where we expand the competition is measured simply by whether it is right for football, right for the existing Hyundai A-League clubs, right for the new clubs and right for the local community," Buckley said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 June 2008 23:02