In a risky move by Football Federation Australia, the A-League is reportedly set to welcome three new clubs, all of which from Sydney.
This decision increases the number of Sydney-based A-League clubs to five, and the number of clubs from New South Wales to seven. This decision also bumps up the number of Sydney derbies in a season from three to 30.
While the vast majority of the football community are in uproar over the decision to ignore other possible expansion areas such as Wollongong, Tasmania or Canberra, the A-League’s governing body isn’t worried.
FFA boss David Gallop fronted the media after the announcement, stating, “Do you guys not realise what this means? We get a derby almost every single round, think of the metrics!”
While it may not be obvious to Gallop, it’s quite clear to us that if the derbies become more common, they’ll also become less anticipated by the football fans.
A spokesperson for Sydney FC’s active support group, The Cove, told The First Reserve that they’re not sure how they will have the energy to keep up the immense derby atmosphere 12 times per season.
The person stated, “We try to make a large banner for each derby against the Wanderers, but I honestly don’t think there’s enough crepe paper in all of Australia to make one for every derby now.”
Despite the overwhelmingly negative response, the FFA has no desire to reverse the decision. This means it’s only a matter of time until we see how this all plays out, and whether over 50% of the league coming from one state works in the FFA’s favour.