The Australia Football Association received 32 bids of interest to join a second division underneath the A-League. Football Australia confirmed teams across eight Australian states and territories submitted expressions of interest (EOIs) to join the league. However, the proposed team count for the second division is between 10 and 16 teams.
Right now, the main professional soccer division in Australia is the A-League. However, a new initiative could have the national second division ready in just a year, according to SportsPro.
In terms of the pyramid, it would go between the A-League and the National Premier Leagues. In Australia, each state and territory has a top division of its own. There are 94 clubs across the eight divisions in the eight territories. Each of these teams competes in the Australia Cup, the Australian equivalent to the FA Cup or the US Open Cup.
Of the 32 teams interested in joining this second division, New South Wales is the most represented. Ten clubs from NSW submitted EOIs. Holistically, some of the notable teams expressing interest are South Melbourne in Victoria and Sydney United 58. The former attempted to join the A-League in 2018, but lost out. Sydney United 58 played in last season’s Australia Cup Final. However, controversy ensued as fans of Sydney United made Nazi salutes during the game.
Australia 2nd division could bring promotion and relegation
The announcement of such great interest in this new division has fans excited for the prospect of promotion and relegation in Australia. Yet, there is no confirmation over the format coming to Australian professional soccer.
That being said, SportsPro said the governing body of Australia is to consider promotion and relegation once the new structure ‘matures.’
The review period for the 32 teams sending EOIs to the Australian FA is between April and June. In that time span, more steps can go towards promotion and relegation. In the past, Australian executives said promotion and relegation is inevitable. Yet, the A-League is in a similar position to MLS in the sense that current owners would vote no, even if there is widespread support to the idea in the league.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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