Football Alive

11th hour 11 team compromise for Football, Fox and FFA?

With just hours before expansion is either rubber stamped or shelved, there is yet one possibility no one is talking about, an 11 team x 3 round 30 game league with Canberra being given the nod.

Canberra have the infrastructure including stadium NPL youth and women’s team at the ready and after the fiasco surrounding the failed community bid last time the FFA would endanger the future of the sport by overlooking this bid again.

The ideas behind shelving expansion have been listed as expense of broadcasting by Fox and also the 6 additional rounds cutting into high rating seasons of the other codes.

The other A-League clubs have shown no enthusiasm for any of the Sydney or Melbourne bids with Southern Expansion already developing rivalries off the field before it even has a name.

The expansion process in many respects needs to be started over with clubs like Wolves, Ipswich and Tasmania being favoured by most fans for their regional appeal and NPL clubs seem to have dibs before franchises in Sydney and Melbourne.

The A-League needs expansion but with uncertainty idealism gives way to pragmatism very quickly in Australia. Instead of purely trusting the devil we know we can always compromise with immediate expansion to the Capital and a reopened process for 3 clubs the year after.

This would assuage Fox in the short, medium and indeed long term, it has often been discussed that a 16 team home and away 30 game season would be perfect for Australia, this would let us see a season of that length, then truncate the season to 26 before a final push to 30 once the national 2nd division is established.

The stakes are high, the process contrived and the players fearful of too much change too soon.

Sometimes the best option is the simplest one. Canberra next year, 3 the year after.

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