REPORT: Will South Melbourne finally join the A-League?
Kosta Diamantopoulos of La Trobe University
Southeast Victorian Bid Chiefs are determined to expand the A-League with a new addition.
A plan involving the South Melbourne Football Club appears to be sustained specifically by the cult-like followers of the club itself and the historic pedigree it has over competition.
This passion for the potential inclusion of South Melbourne into the A-League appears to be completely isolated for strictly the South Melbourne fans themselves, as neutrals believe they lack the skill and resources to be a credible force in Australia’s top footballing division.
With newly appointed FFA Officials already seeking a new inclusion into the A-League, there have been 10 bids worth considering. South Melbourne are one of the few favourites to get accepted, having a historical pedigree over the other teams in the race to Australian footballing supremacy.
South will be looking to finally fulfil the desire that so many South Melbourne fanatics have been possessing since the A-Leagues genesis.
The inclusion can perhaps become a replacement, as Wellington Phoenix’s A-League spot is becoming more vulnerable each passing week.
Wellington Phoenix have been playing at the top division of football in Australia for the past 11 years.
Suitably, the story of Phoenix’s departure from the A-League has been a major point of discussion, as they come off a 3-0 loss at home to Western Sydney Wanderers in round 2, and a 2-0 loss away to Melbourne City in round 3.
The New Zealanders have been extremely lacklustre since their A-League inclusion. Having competed in 11 seasons, and never finishing higher than 4th. Phoenix averages a 7th place finish out of 10 teams after 11 seasons.
There has been talk of Wellington and South Melbourne merging, but there are considerable doubts regarding this. Even if there was a financial agreement, South Melbourne’s A-League bid boss Bill Papastergiadis has urged that this proposal would not end favourably for Wellington.
Papastergiadis stated that: ''South Melbourne and our blue strip is our name, our history and our brand, and that's what we are going to be wherever we play.''
Newly appointed FFA Chairman Chris Nikou states that an A-League expansion is the ‘number one priority’ for the FFA Board.
“We need to build, today’s the day we put a line in the sand and we go forward so I’m very pleased to be able to talk to you energised about the prospects going forward. And together I think we can do some very, very positive things.” - Chris Nikou
A tweet from #SMFC firmly backs the idea of South Melbourne finally being apart of an A-League competition.