A-League and W-League players launch the new season together. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
A-League and W-League players launch the new season together. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

New board forces A-League expansion delay

A-LEAGUE boss Greg O'Rourke will recommend to the outgoing Football Federation Australia board which two teams should join an expanded national competition but wants the governing body's new board to endorse his decision.

The Stephen Lowy-led board, who will be replaced next month, meet on Tuesday, with expansion on the agenda.

O'Rourke has settled on which two of the eight remaining expansion bids - which come from NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Canberra - he wants in what would become a 12-team A-League.

A-League and W-League players launch the new season together. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
A-League and W-League players launch the new season together. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

 

However, with the possibility that the new board could overturn the departing board expansion decision, O'Rourke said it was "common sense" that the choice by made by the new chairman and directors, which would mean the long proposed October 31 announcement would be delayed.

"Are we ready to make a recommendation? Yes but the other thing is, do we think that this board should be the one to approve that recommendation?" O'Rourke said at Monday's A-League season launch in Sydney.

 

Challenging times for FFA CEO David Gallop. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Challenging times for FFA CEO David Gallop. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

 

"This board is meeting for effectively the last time operationally … so the question for them will be whether or not they want to make the call, or whether they want the newly constituted board to make the call, and that's thing that I don't know.

"You get to a position where common sense would be that they would pass on the decision to the next board."

O'Rourke admitted expansion could be delayed until the 2020-21 season if the new board made the decision on the two new teams.

But even if that were to occur, he wants the announcement of the new clubs to be made as soon as possible.

"What I don't want them to do is to delay the announcement of the teams because that's where the excitement comes, that's where the ability for those clubs to then start recruiting, setting up, employing individuals, going to the community and getting their colours and getting the name of their club and all those sorts of things (happens).

"That momentum we can't afford to push down the road."

O'Rourke had no doubt the new board would support A-League expansion.

"The people that I talk to involved in the nomination of board members, none of them have said they want expansion delayed," he said.

"All of them have said this league needs to expand and it'll be more around the … timing as opposed to the thinking about whether we should or we shouldn't.

"I see this as the right thing for football … for the growth of the league, and it's time."



Humour Column: good luck school leavers

premium_icon Humour Column: good luck school leavers

I'm not going to sugar coat it, real life is nothing like school.

'Big-city' Sports Store re-opens after major renovations

premium_icon 'Big-city' Sports Store re-opens after major renovations

It's a new store and stock with the same quality customer service

'It just developed': a look at a historical sci-fi story

premium_icon 'It just developed': a look at a historical sci-fi story

What would have happened if Hitler travelled to the future?

Local Partners