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WA to have second A-League team in three years?

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WA could have a second A-League team within three years if an ambitious push by Football West is successful.

Soccer’s governing body in the State is confident it can secure a second licence for Perth and be up and running in three to five years.

“This is an exciting initiative and a statement of intent,” Football West chairman Liam Twigger said.

“It’s all about seizing the moment. We know it’s aspirational, but we have the team and management here to make this happen.”

Football West’s board backed the plan yesterday and the body will now seek expert advice and potential investment to take it forward.

Twigger said Football West had contacted Football Federation Australia about the initiative.

“I believe the FFA will be very supportive,” he said.

Twigger has also informed Perth Glory owner Tony Sage and said a new team would provide a shot in the arm for Glory.

“You only have to look at Sydney and Melbourne to see how a second club benefited the team already there,” Twigger said.

“Western Sydney Wanderers have been brilliant for the game in New South Wales.

“We would have a team playing in the State every week and Glory would have a real derby.

“It will be good for them.”

Twigger said the proposed club would go by the working title of the Black Swans, the current nickname of the WA State side.

Like Glory, they would play at nib Stadium but be based at Football West’s Home of Football headquarters when it was built.

“We are very supportive of Glory and just as Glory came out of the old State team 20 years ago, the current players will provide the nucleus of any new team,” Twigger said.

“It also doubles commercial openings, having two teams.”

Twigger, who hopes the new club will attract between 12,000 and 14,000 fans, said it would be set up differently to the other A-League franchises.

“No disrespect to any current model, but ours would be more community-based,” Twigger said.

“It would be more akin to the WA footy commission, with Football West holding the licence and, as with the Eagles and Dockers, the new club would be run independently with an agreement reached on income sharing.”

Twigger said the A-League was too small with 10 clubs, and that an expansion to 14 or even 16 teams would give it greater bargaining power when the new broadcast deal was negotiated.

With perfect timing, the WA State team plays Glory in a friendly at Inglewood Stadium next Wednesday.

“This is the first of many derbies between the sides,” Twigger said. “We are sure we will make this happen.”

Glory open their 2016-17 A-League season against Central Coast at nib Stadium on October 8.

© 2016 Yahoo! News | This article was written by Neil Devey and first appeared on the The Western Australian website on 11 August 2016. 

 

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