Western Sydney Wanderers‘ new stadium will come online next year.
Western Sydney Wanderers‘ new stadium will come online next year.

Reason behind Sydney’s third team delay

Macarthur South West Sydney's delayed A-League entry has been engineered partly to give Western Sydney breathing space back at their rebuilt home stadium.

Macarthur South West Sydney's delayed A-League entry has been engineered partly to give Western Sydney breathing space back at their rebuilt home stadium.

Widespread expectation leading up to Thursday's announcement centred around the arrival of two new teams in the same season, whether that be the next campaign or 2020-21.

But, after Wednesday's marathon board meeting and talks long into the night, Football Federation Australia has decided to stagger the process, giving one licence to Western Melbourne and the other to Macarthur South West Sydney.

Western Sydney Wanderers are privately not keen on the Campbelltown-based bid, fearing it encroaches on their territory.

On top of that the club has been nomadic for the past three seasons during the reconstruction of Western Sydney Stadium.

Next season will be its first back in a state-of-the-art boutique stadium, and FFA said allowing them to settle in was a factor in its decision.

"I always said we had to take into account the impact on our existing clubs," chief executive David Gallop said.

"We have two clubs in Sydney that are dislocated from the venues they ultimately want to play in.

"We felt that was a factor why we should lead towards the Sydney club coming in as the second one.

"We have seen that being away from there (Parramatta) has had a significant impact on their business.

 

 

 

 

Macarthur South-west Sydney supporters at Campbelltown Stadium. (AAP IMAGE / Robert Pozo).
Macarthur South-west Sydney supporters at Campbelltown Stadium. (AAP IMAGE / Robert Pozo).

 

"This is part of the reasoning behind South West Sydney coming in 2020-21, it will allow Sydney to settle down a bit."

The practical implications of 11 teams for a campaign throws out the balance of the home-and-away draw.

A-League boss Greg O'Rourke foreshadowed a bye each round for 2019-20.

"So there'll still be the same amount of matches each weekend which will be the five A-League matches with the 11th team having the bye," O'Rourke said.

 

FFA CEO David Gallop (left) and FFA Chairman Chris Nikou at the announcement of the two new teams to join the A-League. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING
FFA CEO David Gallop (left) and FFA Chairman Chris Nikou at the announcement of the two new teams to join the A-League. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING

 

"That then brings in five different versions. Do we just start with a full home-and-away plus finals series which effectively is around 22 rounds?

"Or do we go all the way up to 30 rounds? One of the advantages of this staged approach is that now we can enter full consultation about that sixth match around the timeslot and day etc with the existing A-League clubs, the PFA and also our board.

"It's not a perfect outcome by any means, but if you move to ultimately one of our goals which is to go to 14 teams and then you have a much more balanced full home-and-away potential it's not that it's unique and there are many sports around the world including some here in Australia which do not have full home-and-away."

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