EXCLUSIVE: Canberra's A-League bid chief Ivan Slavich has told supporters he won't rest until the ACT is admitted to the competition.
Football Federation Australia has handed the coveted 12th licence to Western Sydney in a decision that bitterly disappointed the ACT.
But while dismayed, the setback has only made Slavich more determined to bring A-League football to the capital.
He is urging supporters in the ACT to keep heads high and put even greater efforts into the push for admission.
"I'm a pretty persistent sort of bloke," Slavich told au.fourfourtwo.com today. "I'm not a quitter, I don't quit and we will have an A-League team by hook or by crook.
"Clearly the FFA had their preference for Western Sydney. It might have been nice to know that earlier on but we look ahead now and to that 13th licence."
Slavich confirmed the Canberra bid's bank balance was just short of the magic $6m sought by the FFA - although a lack of funds didn't hinder the West Sydney bid.
"The figure of $4.5m is about right and we continue to work on building that," said Slavich. "I think our prospects remain bright and we are talking to the FFA about the possibility of participation in the National Youth League and links with Canberra's W-League team.
"Who knows what can happen in football? If a team was to drop out of the competition then you have to be ready to step in.
"I know there is disappointment but the worst thing people can do is to suddenly stop going to matches here and become disheartened. That would send the wrong signal to the FFA."
The Canberra bid has government backing, an important factor for Slavich, and the bid team will meet with ACT government officials next week to discuss recent developments and the way ahead.
Slavich added: "The message is this. Keep the faith. This is definitely not the end. We will continue with this and I'll only quit when we're in the A-League."