Canberra A-League bid to be modeled on German Bundesliga licence

Canberra A-League bid to be modeled on German Bundesliga licence

The Central Coast Mariners played at Canberra Stadium two years ago.

The Central Coast Mariners played at Canberra Stadium two years ago.

Canberra's A-League bid hopes the capital's soccer community will jump on board a "50 plus one" ownership model designed to mirror the one used in Germany's Bundesliga.

The Canberra bid team will meet with officials from Deloitte on Friday as the next step in their submission process before finalising an expression of interest and sending it to the FFA on May 24.

The expression of interest will be a 100-page document detailing why Canberra can support an A-League team and is likely to include letters of support from key people and business in the capital.

But one of the biggest aspects of the proposal is the community ownership model, which is aimed at giving fans the biggest stake in running the club.

The 50 plus one rule for the Canberra bid is based on the one used in Germany, where a club can only obtain a Bundesliga licence if the club's members retain overall control.


"We're basing our bid on community ownership and a really successful model that was deployed in Germany," said Canberra bid team member Michael Caggiano.


"Members own a controlling stake in the team and decide key things at the club, including ticket prices.

"The German league is probably the most successful league commercially, other than England. They do that despite having probably the lowest ticket prices in European leagues.

"That's because it's community driven by the community with the members put first. That's what we want to put forward and similar to what the Western Sydney Wanderers have done.

"We want community engagement with the naming of the club, community engagement with the colours and the badge, and ticketing and match-day experience. That's what I would want to see."


Soccer has the highest participation rates of any sport in Canberra and the bid team has met with Capital Football to discuss ways to tap into the 30,000 registered players in the city.

But Canberra fans were burnt by the FFA almost a decade ago when the organisation snubbed the capital's bid for a team despite having secured $5 million in funding.

Canberra soccer officials have since experimented with one-off games and a partnership with the Central Coast Mariners, but both scenarios have struggled to gain traction.

It is hoped Canberra fans will jump behind the new bid, particularly if they have an opportunity to be a part of the 50 plus one model.

The FFA will add two teams to the A-League when the bidding process finishes, with Canberra set to go up against teams from Geelong, Melbourne and Sydney, among others.

But Canberra officials will also be keeping a close eye on the future of the Wellington Phoenix licence. The Phoenix is fighting for survival and it could present Canberra a chance to take over the licence.


The Canberra A-League bid is asking for community input. Click or touch here, or visit to have your say.

Chris Dutton

Chris Dutton is a sports reporter at The Canberra Times.

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