Celtic

Broony set to stay at Celtic as A-League expansion is put on ice

Celtic Captain Scott Brown is set to stay at the Champions with revelations that the proposed expansion of the Australian A-League is to be delayed until the 2020-21 season.

That would be the 10 in a row season, something Broony would unlikely leave Celtic for if the run was still going on.

The decision to delay the proposed expansion is also problematic for the Victorian bids, one of which has made the offer for Broony, with the Victorian government in caretaker mode and its support of the business model which includes millions in infrastructure yet to be formally signed off on.

Fox Sports reported in Australia:

“A number of bidders have said if they were to know in December or January, that would still be viable for them to come in the 2019-20 season, but any later than that would probably be too short a run-up,” O’Rourke said on Monday. “Their view is the longer they have, the higher quality team they can put together in respect of not having too little time to build a team. “As a result of that, we would hope that by the end of December, the board would be in a position to make a call, if not at end of January at the latest.” Asked if that was the deadline for a decision for expansion in 2019-20, O’Rourke said “It’s not so much about the decision – it’s about actually the timing of the entry.

“The decision itself could still be made (by then), but the timing of their entry could be delayed to give them an 18-month run up instead of a six-month run-up.” O’Rourke identified the political situation in Victoria as one potential stumbling block in sticking to the time frame.

“There’s one or two Victorian bids that require government support and the state government of Victoria is currently in caretaker mode,” O’Rourke said.

“So until that government election is held (on November 24) and we can talk to the incumbent sports minister, treasurer, premier, that’s something we can’t control.” Asked if he would regard delaying expansion to 2020-21 as a setback, O’Rourke said “I think the league would benefit from expansion in 2019-20, that’s for sure.

“But if there’s some obvious reasons to delay it for one year, not the decision itself but the implementation of it, I think most people would be slightly disappointed.

“But we’d be ready, knowing that one year – as long as we’ve got all the right questions answered – would be a reasonable timeline to make sure that was done.” O’Rourke said there had been formal meetings with some of the bidders about challenges identified in their documentation and the others would go through the same process probably by the end of next week.

With the delay for the entry of the new franchises, it would appear that Broony will likely stay at Celtic and see the Champions through to that iconic 10 in a row.

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