A-League officials are considering backflipping on their divisive decision to sell the grand final to the NSW government for three years.
Players and fans were in uproar in December last year when Australian Professional Leagues chief executive Danny Townsend announced the deal, that was understood to have pocketed the APL close $20 million.
It led to fan protests, which spilt over to an ugly pitch invasion from Melbourne Victory fans at AAMI Park in December.
However, the APL stuck firm, with the A-League men’s and women’s grand finals both played in Sydney last year despite Victorian clubs Melbourne City and Western United having earnt respective hosting rights.
But the deal might now be reworked, with sources confirming negotiations between the APL and the NSW government had recently started.
Options being considered as alternatives to the grand final being played in Sydney included a concept similar to the NRL’s Magic Round, involving both men’s and women’s teams, and the return of the A-League All-Star matches.
Meanwhile, an announcement is imminent about the new clubs from Auckland and Canberra that will join the A-League in the 2024-25 season.
A change of leadership of the APL board also looms, with long-time interim chairman, Western Sydney Wanderers co-owner Paul Lederer set to be replaced by an independent chair.
Townsend’s APL future is also understood to be uncertain as he considers an overseas employment opportunity.