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A-League byes and extra games: How expansion will affect the competition

06:13 GMT+3 13/12/2018
Kosta Barbarouses Melbourne Victory
How will the league change with one team added next season and a further the campaign after?

In the 2019-20 season, the A-League will likely have 30 competition rounds after the addition of new franchise Western Melbourne.

With the number of teams growing to 11 for next season, the current format of every team playing each other three times will likely remain - with one club having a bye each week.

This means the A-League will total 33 weeks including three weeks of finals - a rise of three weeks from the current 30 weeks made up of 27 rounds and finals.

Whether there will still be split rounds is something that has to be decided by the FFA, and whether they can incorporate byes to help A-League clubs in the Asian Champions League.

"We’ll have the usual five games a round but with one team having a bye," A-League head Greg O'Rourke said.

"One of our goals is to go to 14 teams so we have an even round. We could go up to 30 rounds if we needed to."

When South-West Sydney come into the league for the 2020-21 campaign, the amount of teams in the league will rise to 12 - assuming Wellington Phoenix have their licence renewed prior to that season.

There is also the possibility Wellington could be replaced in the league by a new franchise - with recent failed bid Canberra likely to be a frontrunner.

How a 12-team A-League will be structured is anyone's guess as broadcaster Fox Sports is reportedly not keen on having too many extra regular season matches.

The ideal scenario will be the eventual 14-team competition mentioned by O'Rourke that would see each team play each other twice for a 26-round regular season and finals series.