A-League decision likely soon, says FFA

April 2, 2012
By Adrian Warren

Football Federation Australia (FFA) boss Ben Buckley expects a decision on the composition of the A-League 2012-13 competition inside three weeks, but admits there are questions remaining over the viability of a Gold Coast team.

The FFA is yet to determine whether a 10-team competition will be maintained for next season.

The future of Gold Coast United was thrown into doubt after controversial owner Clive Palmer was recently stripped of the licence.

United finished bottom of the A-League ladder and some players have already signed for other clubs for next season.

A consortium, headed by entrepreneur Geoffrey Schuhkraft and Gold Coast mayoral candidate Tom Tate, is striving to keep a team in the region.

It's believed they have been asked to guarantee $5 million in funding in a matter of weeks.

A Western Sydney franchise is another potential possibility for next season, if the money can be found to finance the club.

Asked about the prospects of a Gold Coast team in next season's competition, Buckley said "I think we have some question marks over the ability for a team to operate viably on the Gold Coast given it's recent history.

"That's something that we're assessing at the moment."

With the current season into its finals phase, Buckley stressed a decision was imminent.

"We've set ourselves a goal to have those issues resolved by the end of the season," Buckley said.

"We're now two-and-a-half weeks away from that, so we certainly expect to be able to resolve those issues in that timeframe."

While the FFA is still trying to sort out next season's competition, Buckley said he was thrilled with the way this season's finals series was shaping up.

"Perth Glory have staked a claim to possibly push through into the grand final," Buckley said.

"Wellington are continuing to defy the pundits with their progression.

"Of course, Central Coast and Brisbane have set the benchmark for two years.

"All the indicators are that in the last couple of weeks, we're going to see some outstanding football."