Expansion ‘on the agenda’ ahead of 2017 TV deal

​Hyundai A-League chief Damien de Bohun says expansion of the competition is on the agenda but won’t be until the next TV broadcast deal.

The surge in the Hyundai A-League over the last few years has re-ignited talk of expanding the competition beyond the current 10 teams.

With the current broadcast contract running until 2017, de Bohun said any change is unlikely before then but cities like Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth are contenders for second teams.

“There’s a genuine consideration we are working on the background for the next broadcast rights deal,” de Bohun told the Adelaide Advertiser.

“In that context the two things I will say is this. We’ve said openly that’s its proven [two A-League teams in one city].

“Western Sydney is a good example of this, and markets where there’s millions of people is conducive to a really strong fan reaction to the team.

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“We’ve seen that Manchester City’s purchase of Melbourne Heart to create Melbourne City and we’ve got two strong teams in Melbourne and Sydney.

“Markets like Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide you’d have to contemplate. It’s certainly on the agenda.”

There have been calls to implement a second-division competition – or B-League – likes competitions around the world which have promotion and relegation.

But de Bohun says that option is not currently on the radar and not a priority.

“The AFC’s [Asian Football Confederation] concerns for an Australian second division they’re no longer real concerns,’’ he said.

“We’ve gone back to three Champions League spots in a very short period and that relationship [with AFC] is really on track. We’re committed to the 10 teams for the duration of the broadcast rights deal.

“There’s no doubt that stability and continuity have been a really important part of the success of the league of the last couple of years. It’s the first time we’ve had the same 10 teams for three seasons in a row so that’s positive.

“We’ll be going back to the table for broadcast rights before 2017 and part of that work is whether 10 teams is the right number or 12 teams is the right number or even more.”