FFA calls for Expressions of Interest for new Hyundai A-League club licences

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has formally commenced its process to expand the Hyundai A-League by two new clubs from the 2019/20 season.

FFA has invited all interested parties wishing to obtain a new licence to participate in the Hyundai A-League to respond to FFA’s Invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI). 

The call for EOI is the first step in the process and requires interested parties to address the following:

  • Vision and strategy for the expansion A-League Club, including:
    • Unique selling point(s);
    • Approach to fan engagement, media engagement; stadia, government and player development and youth pathways;
  • Proposed location(s), including connection to the area and an understanding of the local football community and its history;
  • Financial capacity, including:
    • Evidence of available resources, including capital, revenue and/or membership;
    • Details as to how they intend to finance the acquisition of the licence;
    • Details as to how they intend to fund the ongoing operations of the club.
  • Details about persons involved in the prospective bid, including relevant experience across sport/football, business management, marketing and media experience.

At the conclusion of the EOI stage of the process, FFA intends to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to shortlisted parties inviting the submission of detailed proposals.  Additional information will be provided to shortlisted parties during the RFP phase to assist with their formal detailed proposal.

While FFA seeks through the process to understand bidders’ aspirations regarding the Westfield W-League, it will not necessarily expand in parallel with the A-League because the priorities for the W-League are different to the A-League.  FFA has a separate and dedicated focus for the W-League to determine the best way to continue to its growth.  This is also the case for the Foxtel Y-League.

A final decision on the expansion of the Hyundai A-League is envisaged to be made by the FFA Board in October 2018.  Any decision to grant a new licence to participate in the Hyundai A-League will be made in the best interests of football in Australia.

More information and links to respond to the Expression of Interest invitation can be found at www.a-league.com.au/expansion

An indicative timeline for the Hyundai A-League expansion process is as follows:

Activity

Date

Release of Invitation for EOI

29 March 2018

Closing date for submission of EOI Response

24 May 2018

Confirmation of shortlisted bidders

June 2018

Release of Request for Proposal 

11 June 2018

Deadline for submission of proposals

31 August 2018

Announcement

31 October 2018

 

FFA Chief Executive Officer David Gallop said a number of potential bidders had already expressed their interest publicly and privately and more could emerge locally and internationally during the process. 

He said FFA had shared information about the process with existing Hyundai A-League clubs, Member Federations and Professional Footballers Australia. FFA will provide opportunities for these organisations to provide submissions during the process and will also consult its commercial partners and broadcasters.

“We have done a lot of work on the fundamentals behind successful expansion of the Hyundai A-League and we are confident that we will receive some high quality bids as part of this process. But it’s important to remember that this is an interaction with the market and the market will have its own views.

“That’s why it was encouraging to see that the Adelaide United licence sold recently for a price that provided the owners with a strong financial return on their initial investment.

“Australian sport has seen expansion produce both hits and misses over the last few decades as the competition for hearts and minds becomes more and more intense. In short we are determined to be one of the hits.  We must do all we can to ensure that sound business principles and more generally the best interests of football are considered and applied. The game is right to be aspirational and confident and this is an exciting opportunity for interested parties to get on board in a competition that has produced outstanding growth in its short history.  New teams are a long-term investment both for the entrant and the game generally. We feel that the time is right now to introduce the A-League to more fans and provide more opportunities for the thousands of kids who are playing the game and aspiring to play on the main stage in Australia and Asia.

“We are looking for new clubs that are going to not just be successful in their own right but make the league as a whole more commercially successful. It will be important that the existing clubs, Member Federations and PFA are given opportunities to make submissions on the impact on their own organisations and their views on the options as they unfold.

"Overseas experience has shown that new clubs bring new interest and energy to the game. However while this process is going on we will continue to work with the existing clubs, our broadcasters and other partners to build the League for next season. We will be investing more marketing dollars than ever before on the League and introducing other initiatives to get crowds and viewers back for next season.  FFA is working closely with the Club CEO’s and their teams to build an environment that encourages a closer connection with our record number of grassroots participants and more generally football fans in Australia and New Zealand.

“With football booming in Asia, the largest participation base in Australian sport and our national teams competing on the world stage, this is the right time to be expanding the Hyundai A-League.”