A-League’s final flurry like a Rubik’s Cube

The final round of the Hyundai A-League regular season has come screaming to the most intriguing and complex conclusion you could imagine.

The final round of the Hyundai A-League regular season has come screaming to the most intriguing and complex conclusion you could imagine.

I know the competition has seen incredible finishes before, but maybe nothing quite so complicated as this season-s finals scenario.

Six clubs are chasing five finals spots. It-s so tight and volatile that Sydney FC could finish as high as second or miss out on the finals altogether. Five clubs are still in the hunt for a passage direct to a semi final and a week-s rest.

The tension and drama will give us a weekend of top-shelf football entertainment and keep fans riveted, whether they-re watching live in stadiums or at home on TV.

Trying to predict the match-ups for the three weeks of Hyundai A-League Finals Series is football-s version of the Rubik-s Cube.

I-ve spent plenty of time with my management team looking at possible results, likely finals fixtures, availability of stadiums, the Asian Champions League commitments of three clubs in the finals, the travel schedules, broadcast requirements and the impact of the Easter and Anzac Day public holidays.

Put all the variables in the mix and it-s a real brain-teaser. There are more than 50 permutations for the five matches of the finals series. No one can tell how this great unscripted drama will unfold. Like all the fans, I-ll have to wait until the final whistle in the final match to know where we-re heading.

Having three clubs in the ACL is a wonderful achievement for the competition. The Wanderers, Mariners and Victory are paving the way for Australian football-s deepening engagement with Asia.

The complication of mid-week ACL matches during the A-League finals is a fact of life that we need to accept. One of the priorities in our finals planning is to ensure reasonable turnaround times for the clubs in the ACL.

That may mean that the scheduled Friday and Sunday slots for the three weeks of the finals might require some flexibility to accommodate a Saturday night match to allow for all the vagaries we-re dealing with.

In the same way, the final selection of a stadium could depend on the match up that unfolds. While it-s confirmed that the Premiers Brisbane Roar will play a semi final at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday 27 April, the venue and date for the second semi final might not be confirmed until the week one elimination finals are completed.

Our priority will be to give as many fans as possible the chance to experience the unique atmosphere and the drama of the Hyundai A-League Finals Series. Even though the other brands of footy are in full swing, we have plenty of options to take finals series matches to major venues such as ANZ Stadium, Etihad Stadium, Suncorp Stadium, Allianz Stadium and Adelaide Oval.

It-s Sudden Death. Every match must have a result on the day. The thin margin between the euphoria of a win and the agony of defeat is what makes finals football so spectacular.

I can-t wait, but now it-s back to my Rubik-s Cube.