Canberra is one step closer to its very own A-League team, after the Capital Region Football Collective (FC) today announced it had submitted a multi-million dollar offer to the Football Federation of Australia (FFA).
Backed by a European investment group, the A-League licence would see a Canberra based team in the national competition from as early as the 2021-22 season.
Capital Region FC co-director Michael Caggiano said he was confident a Canberra based team would bring value to the league.
“This is a significant, fully funded, financial offer that we have been building towards for quite some time,” he said.
“We have presented not just the money offer but a whole different type of criteria with evidence of value there outside of just money which is surely irrefutable.”
Canberra was previously overlooked in the 2018 league expansion, which saw an additional team added in Sydney and Melbourne.
While Canberra is applying for its own A-League licence, group co-director Bede Gahan said it would also be willing to take over the Central Coast Mariners’ licence after the club was put up for sale.
“We are big Mariners fans. If they can stay in the competition it’s a good outcome and we would like to be issued an additional licence because we are ready to kick the ball from as early as the 2021 season,” he said.
“If that can’t be achieved, we are more than ready to take on that licence and hit the ground running.”
The FFA secured a broadcasting deal with Fox Sports in June this year that will continue through until July 2021.
Mr Gahan said the backing of an international body would also highly benefit Canberra’s local talent and create a successful team.
“This international group will bring players, coaches, administrators to Canberra that will help us make a splash from day one,” he said.
“The benefit of that is it brings a pool of talent you are able to tap into, not just for players but coaches and administrators.”
Mr Caggiano said while the European investment group had committed their interest in a Canberra based team, the FFA would need to move quickly to keep it locked in.
“To be honest, they have given us a time schedule to press ahead with this investment,” he said.
“They are active in acquiring other clubs in Europe and in other leagues and in the next four to six weeks they want to see progress for that, or they will go and look at another acquisition.”