Melbourne City captain Scott Jamieson says the A-League has to introduce a promotion and relegation system if the competition is to prosper.
The former Socceroos left-back, who has had spells in Europe, believes the Australian top-flight has suffered because there are no major consequences for teams that fail.
"I think it's definitely something that has to happen in the future, to have that pressure of promotion and relegation," Jamieson told RSN.
"I've played in England, I've played in Sweden, where it's do or die.
"There's not that pressure and there needs to be."
However, Jamieson conceded that it would be difficult to introduce promotion and relegation to the A-League, with a host of issues needed to be resolved before it became a reality.
"We are such a big country and we aren't aligned as a code," he said.
"At the moment there is no clear way to get promotion and relegation."
Jamieson also said the salary cap is doing nothing to level the playing field and labelled it a "shambles".
He suggested the league would be better if the salary cap was reserved to Australian players with clubs allowed to spend whatever they like on their quota of imports.
"I think the salary cap is another one for our code that needs to be really talked about," he said.
"In the past few years it has been a shambles, because teams are spending the floor of their salary cap and other teams are spending a lot more, and it's not really doing anything for the competition to make it fair.
"Better foreign players would mean more interest in them.
"The salary cap hasn't really worked for the A-League."
Melbourne City are second in the A-League after eight matches - five points adrift of Sydney FC - with their next encounter on Sunday at Newcastle.