The A-League has released its revised fixture list as it races to complete its 2019/20 season before any further disruptions.
Released on Wednesday afternoon, it reveals that the 27 games remaining on the fixture are now set to be completed in 34 days; Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix re-starting the competition this Friday and Western United and Melbourne City concluding the regular season on Wednesday, August 19.
Elimination finals will then start that weekend, with both semi-finals following on Wednesday, August 26 and the Grand Final pencilled in for Sunday, August 30 – the day that the renegotiated CBA is set to expire.
Aside from Brisbane Roar’s meeting with Adelaide United at CBUS Stadium on Sunday evening, the remaining fixtures are all set to be played in NSW, with ANZ Stadium, Bankwest Stadium, Central Coast Stadium, McDonald Jones Stadium, and Jubilee Stadium all earmarked as host venues.
Bankwest Stadium is also set to host two double-headers under the newly revised plans, with Phoenix against Adelaide and Melbourne Victory’s clash with Western set to be staged back-to-back at the ground on Saturday, July 25 and Perth Glory and Newcastle United’s tie set to serve as a curtain-raiser for Western Sydney Wanderers vs Victory on Wednesday, August 12.
Initially intending to play its 27 remaining fixtures in 28 days and conclude with its Grand Final on August 23, the A-League was forced to re-jig its plans following the, eventual, evacuation of its three Melbourne based teams from their state following the closure of the Victorian and New South Wales border.
Initially slated to re-start proceedings against each other tomorrow, Western and Victory will now face each other on Saturday, July 15 – the date that their 14-day mandated quarantine is set to conclude.
It will begin a busy stretch for the A-League newcomers, who are set to play six games in 25 days under the newly released plan.
“The remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season will now see the 27 matches played over 34 days with the Hyundai A-League 2020 Finals Series moved back a week,” said Head of the A-League Greg O’Rourke.
“We have been able to keep in place 20 of the 27 matches that we announced previously, and the Hyundai A-League 2020 Grand Final will now be scheduled for Sunday 30 August.
“I would like to thank the Hyundai A-League clubs, venues and our broadcast partners, in particular Fox Sports, for their support in developing this revised match schedule.
“Fans may be able to attend some matches and will also be able to watch on Fox Sports, Sky Sport (NZ), ABC TV, Kayo Sports and the MyFootball Live App.
“The scene is now set for an exciting finish to the season.”
With the worrying growth of COVID-19 cases in Sydney, though, there is no guarantee that the fixture as it currently stands – dominated by NSW – will proceed as scheduled. In breaking news on Wednesday morning, the AFL announced its intention to move its teams out of the state and place them primarily in Queensland for the remainder of the season.
Though it’s still a back-up plan, O’Rourke confirmed on Tuesday that that is something that the A-League is also developing a contingency for.
“We have spoken to stadia in Queensland, we have today spoken to accommodation options and also around securing training venues for those teams,” he said. “That is also what we are looking at as our back-up plan.
“Whilst that’s our plan B and – we’re probably up to plan O, P or Q by now in terms of trying to get this league re-started, that would be our opening position.”