A-League club owners have thanked Football Federation Australia for naming the two new sides to join the competition... but warned they'll make the decisions in future.
After this year's FFA boardroom and congress coup, the A-League will spin off into its own independently run body from next season, owned by the A-League clubs under a licence-type agreement with the FFA.
Today the A-League owners' body, the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association, gave a lukewarm welcome to the two new sides, Western Melbourne Group and Macarthur South-West Sydney.
The APFCA is chaired by Western Sydney Wanderers co-owner Paul Lederer who is understood to have campaigned heavily behind the scenes against the neighbouring rival South-West Sydney bid from getting up.
As a compromise, the FFA allowed Western Sydney Wanderers an extra year to recover their fanbase at the new Western Sydney Stadium before facing competition from the new Campbelltown-based side.
SWS chairman Gino Marro admitted: "We would have been ready to go but we'll take the extra time. The more time the better for us.
"The Wanderers are a great football club. Paul Lederer and (chief executive) John Tsatsimas are two of the smartest football people in the country.
"They'll be a force once they're back in their new home. We'll be massive competitors to them on the field but great mates off it."
In response though, Lederer paid tribute to the job the newly-elected FFA board had been landed with - but said the new A-League body would take over expansion discussions in future.
“We acknowledge the good faith actions of the FFA board to complete the expansion process which it inherited," said Lederer.
"APFCA’s hope is that the board’s decision marks a first step in releasing the true potential of the A-League."
"However, any further expansion must be under an independent league model."
He added: "APFCA is committed to meeting the milestones of the New Leagues Working Group pathway unanimously created by the FFA Congress on October 2 and in doing so creating an Independent A-League in time for next season.
"Only a league independent of governing body conflicts and artificial constraints can realise its true potential and the ambitions of those clubs wishing to join the A-League in the future.”