Australia delay league expansion plans

SYDNEY - Australia have postponed plans to expand their struggling domestic competition next season because of ongoing financial uncertainty.

The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) had hoped to add an extra team from each of the country's two largest cities to their existing 10-club A-League next season.

But while a Melbourne franchise was given approval to join the competition next season the successful Sydney consortium, announced on Tuesday, was given an extra year to prepare their finances.

"We want to give the team every chance to succeed by giving them time to put all the right building blocks in place," FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said in a statement on Tuesday.

The A-League was launched in 2005 after the FFA scrapped the old National Soccer League, which was plagued by financial problems and ethnic rivalries.

The new competition began modestly with eight teams and ambitious plans to expand but some clubs are already facing financial pressures as the initial interest and crowd attendances shrink.


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