A-League chief Greg O'Rourke has targeted the 2019/20 season for possible expansion in the competition.
Speaking at the launch for the upcoming 2017/18 A-League season, O'Rourke was quizzed on the possibility of expansion in the next few years.
“We are still committed to expand and we have a long-term horizon that will probably look like 16 teams," O'Rourke said, according to The West Australian.
“We’ll probably go up in twos from 12, to 14, to 16.
“We would be looking at the 2019/20 season for the first two teams, to give them an opportunity to build their clubs.
“After that you start thinking about teams from anywhere in Australia that makes sense at the time.
“What we don’t want to do is expand then find that we would have preferred a different model.
“The first expansion will come along once we’ve fixed the new operating model, which effectively allows people to buy into the entity, the A-League, as well as get a licence.
“Nothing is locked away but it’s a little bit too far to be thinking ahead any further than the first two teams. We would like to think that there wouldn’t be any more than two years between the expansion.”
However, the first two teams to come into the competition - to take it to 12 clubs - would likely only come from the East coast of Australia.
“The east coast would be the preference not only for us but also for the broadcasters in at least the first round of expansion," O'Rourke said.
Several clubs have signalled their ambition to join the A-League, including South Melbourne and a Geelong-based team from Victoria, a South Coast bid from NSW, and Brisbane City from Queensland.