Gallop flags ACL spot for 2016 FFA Cup winner

The winner of next year’s Westfield FFA Cup is likely to earn a spot in the following year’s AFC Asian Champions League, FFA chief executive David Gallop has revealed.

The FFA CEO was bullish about the Cup's future ahead of tonight’s historic inaugural Westfield FFA Cup Final between Adelaide United and Perth Glory. 

Gallop said the FFA have taken a proposal to the AFC to have the Cup winner get a spot in Asia’s biggest club competition.

“We want to ensure that the FFA Cup winner gets one of the ACL slots — not possible for 2015 but something we have taken up with AFC for 2016,” Gallop told the Adelaide Advertiser.

Most other countries in Asia offer a spot in the ACL not only to their league champions but also cup winners and Gallop believes the success of this year’s competition deserves a greater reward.

The current system awards spots in the ACL to the Hyundai A-League grand final winners as well as winners of the Premiers’ Plate.

A third spot in a qualifying round goes to the team that finishes third in the league.

Gallop was also open to the idea of the FFA hosting a Super Cup final which would see the winner of the previous season’s Westfield FFA Cup and Hyundai A-League grand final play – probably to launch the start of the following season.

He also hinted some fine-tuning to next year’s Westfield FFA Cup, which would give state league clubs better chance of making it deeper into the competition.

“The FFA Cup has captured the imagination of football fans and general sport fans. A sell out (final at Coopers Stadium) says it all,” Gallop said.

“One of my favourite moments was when Thomas Love scored for Adelaide City, showing the David and Goliath nature of the competition in true fashion.

“Next year we will do some fine tuning. The state comps will be rebranded to be called the FFA Cup allowing 600 clubs to be part of the action and the dream.

“It is the “no second chances” cup so we will move to a weekend grand final in November with the quarter-finals played before the A-League starts so as to maximise the chances of the non A-League teams.”