Head of South's A-League bid team, Bill Papastergiadis, says giving the club an A-League licence will help solve the league's crowd and ratings problems.
The former NSL heavyweights have been one of the most vocal clamourers for A-League expansion, seeking a return to their glory days, where South Melbourne were at the pinnacle of Australian football.
While an A-League side in South Melbourne could create a crowded Melbourne market, with three sides operating within relatively short distances of each other, Papastergiadis told The World Game the A-League needs a side with their "illustrious background".
“The A-League needs teams like us, absolutely," he said.
“The ratings are down and crowds are down and we can play our part in turning that around.
“If you look at our TV numbers in reaching the semi-finals of the FFA Cup last season, they were equivalent, if not higher, than many of the A-League games.
“The bottom line is that the competition needs the vitality and credibility offered by a club with our illustrious background coming in and performing a role in bringing new energy and excitement.
“I am in regular contact with both David Gallop and Greg O’Rouke at the FFA and have a good appreciation of the challenges and opportunities an expanded A-League presents.”
As part of their expansion claims, South Melbourne have recently formed a connection with Chinese Super League club Guanghzou R&F and invested in the Australia-China Football Development Foundation.
Dandenong and Geelong have also been touted as potential candidates for Victorian expansion, while Brisbane City and Southern Expansion are other high-profile bids in preparation for FFA's 2019/20 deadline.