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Roar don't want A-League derby rival yet

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/12/2016 Vince Rugari

Brisbane Roar would welcome a second A-League team in the city - but not just yet.

Managing director Mark Kingsman believes the Roar would "struggle" if another Brisbane side was brought into an expanded competition in the 2018-19 season.

Several groups in south-east Queensland are preparing formal applications to join the A-League but Kingsman has told Football Federation Australia that as far as the Roar's concerned, the timing is not quite right.

"We'd welcome another club in Brisbane but can we wait a little longer? That's what I've said to FFA," Kingsman told AAP.

"Obviously to be able to have a Brisbane derby and capitalise on that derby would be a good thing, but I don't think Brisbane Roar is ready for that yet.

"We need to create a more positive feel around football in Brisbane before that.

"I think we've still got a bit more work to do as a club, we need to re-engage with our supporters, we need to show we're strong, well-organised - we need a little bit of time to do that."

The Roar have been plagued by a series of off-field issues relating to their owners, the Bakrie Group, for much of the last two years, but have made an encouraging start to the season.

After four home games, Brisbane's average attendance at Suncorp Stadium is 16,472 - the third-highest in the A-League, and ahead of glamour clubs Sydney FC and Melbourne City.

With a population of nearly 2.5 million people in Brisbane, there is clearly ample scope for expansion.

It's understood Sydney and Brisbane are overwhelmingly the markets favoured for new teams by Fox Sports, who signed off on a $346 million, six-year broadcast deal on Tuesday.

Brisbane Strikers, the Ipswich-based Western Pride and a Sunshine Coast consortium have signalled their interest but all bidders are waiting on criteria to be released by FFA before progressing further.

But Kingsman reckons there's something else they should be holding out for - the new annual distribution figure from FFA.

The governing body is set for a wrangle with A-League club owners, who want a $6 million per year slice of the new TV deal, more than twice the current $2.5 million.

"For me, if I was a potential side looking to go into the A-League, I'd be waiting for the distribution number as well, because that will be important as to whether you're going to survive or not survive," Kingsman said.

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