Australia A-League facing expansion plan delay
Football Federation Australia (FFA) handed Newcastle United's ownership license to a local mining magnate after the debt-ridden east coast-based club nearly collapsed under the previous owner, the FFA said on Wednesday.
The shotgun marriage follows FFA intervention to rescue a raft of clubs in recent months, including Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar and North Queensland Fury.
FFA chief Ben Buckley conceded the league may have to delay plans to field a second side in Sydney next year and have given backers of the Sydney Rovers franchise a month to convince the league they can make it work, amid reports the consortium had been struggling to raise funds.
"We need to have a finite date so the club can get up and established and running in time for the next season," Buckley told local media on Wednesday.
"We have to take a five-year view, a 10-year view, a 15-year view that a team in western Sydney has to be successful and if that means we have to delay it, our intent is still to have a team there for all the reasons we've said before."
The FFA has been battling a rising tide of criticism from local media, with football identities slamming administrators for expanding the A-League too quickly and diluting the pool of local talent.