statement on a-league expansion exclusion
The club was today informed that along with Ipswich, it has been excluded from the next phase of the A-League expansion process.
Whilst our exclusion comes as a disappointment, it is not completely unexpected. During the process it became apparent that the next two teams were likely to be capital city based. The metrics required to satisfy many of the relevant criteria – both financial and non-financial – made it difficult for our region to compete with heavily populated metro areas.
It is no secret that further rounds of expansion are likely. The work put into our bid and the relationships formed during the course of it, will no doubt hold us in good stead when future expansion beyond 12 teams is being considered. The effort expended to date has not been wasted. It has given clarity to the strengths of our club. In addition, it was humbling to see the brand awareness and the fondness felt for the club across Australia. Public opinion – both locally and nationally - was strongly in our favour. Equally, the process has helped highlight our weaknesses and the aspects which we must improve upon. The fact that our bid progressed into the final eight stage is evidence that we are being closely considered and will continue to be in the future.
The club would like to thank each and every person and business who supported our bid. Particular thanks and appreciation is extended to our fanatical fan group – the WolfDen. All of the support the bid received is evidence that a burning desire exists for our inclusion in the A-League. We ask that those supporters keep the faith and continue to help us build our club.
Importantly, the club would like to thank all of those who formed the bid committee and worked tirelessly on the proposal. All of those people contributed meaningly and gave many hours of their time on a voluntary basis. We cannot thank them enough.
Despite this disappointment we will move forward. Our plans and work towards next years NPL season are well advanced. Luke Wilkshire, the club’s coaching staff and our committee are working hard to ensure that we will enjoy success and continue to provide a club for our fans and corporate partners to be proud of.
Chris Sheppard, Director