A-League to start in October

May 4, 2011
By Guy Hand

The A-League will avoid a clash with AFL and NRL finals and push its season start back to the second weekend of October.

Football Federation Australia chief executive Ben Buckley said clubs had overwhelmingly supported a move away from the August start date of the two previous seasons.

The competition has struggled badly for traction because it overlaps with the business end of Australia's two dominant football codes.

Buckley said the move, with the grand final to be held at the end of March or early April, would be a massive boost for the competition.

"At the moment, we're planning to start the weekend of October 7 and, after consultation with our clubs and stakeholders, the view was taken we would benefit from moving the season back to start in clear air," Buckley told AAP.

"It's new, it's different and we'll assess whether it's been a good decision after the next year.

"But I think just giving us clear air to start the season will be a positive boost."

A final decision on the fixture for the 2011-12 season, featuring a 10-team competition after the axing of North Queensland Fury, is likely to be announced within the next week.

Buckley said the FFA had no problem with overlapping the start of the AFL and NRL seasons, believing they would be in a strong position to keep the turnstiles ticking during the A-League finals.

"There'll be some overlap, but that will be our finals period - arguably the best matches of the year," he said.

"So we're confident the fans will come out for the finals."