The 15 A-League expansion bids on deadline day

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Fifteen bidders are officially in the race for two spots in an expanded A-League.

Aspirants submitted a formal expression of interest in time for Thursday's deadline, leaving Football Federation Australia's hired help Deloitte with the task of examining applicants before a short-list is named next month.

Each has laid out a vision and strategy to join the competition in 2019-20, including unique selling points, financial capacity and approach to fan engagement.

Victoria's Team 11 appear to be front-runners among four Victorian hopefuls given South-East Melbourne's significant supporter base and obvious geographical split from Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.

While their success may hinge on government funding for a stadium, rival bidders South Melbourne remain in contention thanks largely to their existing infrastructure at Lakeside Stadium.

The former NSL powerhouses confirmed the submission of their 100-page bid document, stressing it did not centre on "past NSL glories" but represented "a 14-year case study of a committed football community".

In NSW, the Southern Expansion group sweetened their offer by announcing a formal sister club relationship with Chinese Super League outfit Guizhou Hengfeng FC.

Their tender carries lucrative backing from Hong Kong property conglomerate JiaYuan Group and received council approval late last year to build a $300 million, 30,000-seat stadium in Loftus and a football academy in Barden Ridge.

But FFA must decide whether it's willing to split a fan base between three regions, with home games to be initially shared across Cronulla's Southern Cross Group Stadium, Kogarah's Jubilee Oval and WIN Stadium in Wollongong.

South-West Sydney are the latest to throw their hat in the ring and attempted to fast-track their entry by buying Wellington Phoenix's licence.

Though it's understood FFA won't allow the transfer to go ahead, the Liverpool-based proposal will push on with the intention to fund and build a stadium as a third Sydney bid is launched out of Macarthur.

The Phoenix's sorry off-field state continues to fuel suggestions a third spot could open for another Australian club once the club's licence expires in two years.

That could benefit one of three Queensland groups, Gold Coast United, bolstering their case for an A-League return after securing in-principle backing from US investors Brett Johnson and Jordan Gardner.

It remains to be seen whether it will be enough for FFA to risk a return to the glitter strip given the club's A-League failure under Clive Palmer's ownership.

United will be up against bids from Brisbane City and Western Pride following Brisbane Strikers' late withdrawal.

Local support for teams in Canberra and Tasmania continues to bubble, while a second Adelaide team and a Fremantle-based bid rank as outsiders.

A-League expansion hopefuls

ACT:

Canberra

NSW:

South-West Sydney (Liverpool)

Southern Expansion (Sutherland-St George Illawarra)

Wollongong Wolves

Macarthur (Campbelltown)

QLD:

Brisbane City

Gold Coast United

Western Pride/Ipswich

SA:

West Adelaide

TAS:

State-wide

VIC:

Team 11 (South-East Melbourne)

South Melbourne

Western Melbourne

Belgravia Leisure

WA:

Fremantle City

FFA Expansion Timeline

Confirmation of short-listed bidders - June

Release of Request for Proposal - June 11

Deadline for submission of proposals - August 31

Announcement - October 31

Source: AAP