An announcement on A-League expansion has been pushed back to next month at the earliest with fears the competition's next two teams might not be introduced until the 2020/21 season.
With the Football Federation Australia board set for an overhaul next month, a final decision on expansion has been put on the back burner and will fall to the new board to decide upon.
While the expansion process itself appears to be being put on ice to some extent, the FFA have narrowed down the remaining bids to six with Wollongong Wolves and Ipswich Pride both now out of the running.
That leaves Southern Expansion, Macarthur South West Sydney, Western Melbourne, Team 11, South Melbourne and Canberra all still vying for a spot in the expanded A-League.
“Since receiving the eight bids, we have carefully evaluated information provided and commitments made by the bidding parties," FFA CEO David Gallop said.
"It was clear certain bids were stronger than others.
“We have six bids that all have positive aspects but require further work in certain areas. We need to continue our consultation with those bid teams to ensure that they adequately address these areas to ensure their future sustainability, which includes securing stadia, catchment area and financial capital."
A decision on A-League expansion was originally slated for October 31 to ensure successful bids were given as much time as possible to prepare for their introduction to the competition, but that has now been pushed back to November at the earliest.
While delay has cast fear the expansion process could be pushed be back another season, Gallop stressed the target is to expand the competition as soon as possible.
“FFA will continue to work towards expansion in the next season of the Hyundai A-League should it be satisfied the remaining bids address some of these outstanding issues," he said.
“It is critical that FFA can be satisfied the successful bidders will be sustainable from day one as well as meet a variety of commitments that will benefit the longer-term growth of the Hyundai A-League."