Independent A-League near, says Wanderers CEO

(L-R) Western Sydney Wanderers Chairman Paul Lederer, head coach Carl Robinson and CEO John Tsatsimas Source: Getty Images

Western Sydney Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas believes the A-League is nearing a crucial step on the path to becoming a force on the Australian sporting landscape.

The process of unbundling the league from the FFA and handing control of the competition to the member clubs is all but complete, with Tsatsimas saying an announcement is expected within days.

The long-running process has been a priority of FFA chief executive James Johnson since he took over the position in January and it is understood that just a few legal hurdles have to be cleared before the league's independence is confirmed.

Tsatsimas believes that process is vital for the long-term viability of the competition.

"It's also important that we're able to have a bigger input into the destiny of the league," Tsatsimas said.

"That's been a long standing discussion point and we're at the tail end of it.

"We're very proud to say we're near the end of it and we're able to prepare for, not only this season, but the seasons ahead and the A-League's establishment as a force competition in the sporting landscape."

Under the unbundling agreement, the clubs themselves would be responsible for the marketing and commercialisation of the A-League, which is currently without a naming rights sponsor following the end of a long-term deal with Hyundai.

Clubs believe independence will allow them to control the push for outside investors, a vitally important cashflow injection with several clubs under financial pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Clubs will also draw up the fixture list in conjunction with the FFA.

The governing body will remain in place as a competition regulator, with final say over issues such as expansion and the introduction of promotion and relegation.

It's expected the confirmed independent A-League will be in place before Christmas, ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season on December 27.

Source AAP