South Melbourne’s bid to join the A-League is moving forward, as it is now within the final six teams in the running to receive a license to become eligible for the 2019/20 competition.
This comes after FFA’s decision to axe proposals from Ipswich and Wollongong on Tuesday, leaving just Western Melbourne, Team 11, Macarthur South West Sydney, Canberra and Southern Expansion to compete with the Greek team for the two coveted spots.

Speaking with Neos Kosmos right after the decision was made public, the head of the committee responsible for South Melbourne’s bid, Bill Papastergiadis, showed his enthusiasm:
“We’ve prepared a very detailed bid, that dealt with the social, economic and athletic requirements of a bid for the A-League and one that we believe met and exceeded the criteria set out by the FFA. So to now be selected in the top six, when I think originally there were an excess of 14 or 16 teams in the bid, I think is a positive development for the club. It bodes well for our opportunity to be included in the expanded league.

“Nothing is for sure. We are taking nothing for granted in our preparation for our induction into the A-League. We’re going to continue our discussions with the FFA to ensure that our bid is seriously considered for the purposes of any new expansion team in the league.”

However, the announcement came at a bit of a troubled time for the sport in Australia, as there are changes on the organisational level, with the board having met just a few days ago to vote on the Congress Review Working Group suggestions.

During that meeting it was said that the decision for the two teams to be included in the expansion of the A-League was to be pushed back a little (although no specified time frame was given) in order for things to settle down.

“It’s been indicated to us that the matter will go to a decision of the new board,” says Mr Papastergiadis.

“That board is to meet next month. The FFA has been consistent in its message about the need for additional teams in an A-League, the need to inject additional support and also interest in the league.

“The FFA committed towards ensuring that the league is expanded. So from my understanding it appears that the expansion process is still on track and the decision may be made within the next month or so.”

According to Mr Papastergiadis, South Melbourne’s bid differs from all others in that the team already has a huge fan base and is a historic club that has provided the national team with many players over the years.

He also promised many surprises for the fans, should the bid go through.