FOOTBALL Federation Australia are tomorrow set to announce a new Western Sydney side for the A-League next season.
The FFA are tipped to be investing $5 million into the Government-backed community-based model club, according to Sydney's Daily Telegraph.
The new team will be fast tracked into existence to make it in time for the start of the new season, just seven months away, with recruitment for coaching and polaying staff beginning almost immediately.
It comes in the wake of the disastrous expansion into Queensland three years ago which has since seen North Queensland Fury collapse after just two years, and Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer being stripped of his licence.
The future of Gold Coast is still up in the air - but it looks unlikely they will now remain in the A-League next season.
The launch of the so far un-named West Sydney side - which could get its name from a public vote - will ensure the competition remains a 10-team side at a crucial moment for the domestic game in Australia.
TV rights are set to be re-negotiated imminently, and the inclusion of a 10th side is essential.
However the fact the 10th side will now be Sydney-based - giving the fixture list at least three Sydney derbies each season - is a huge selling point in TV deal-making.
Sydney is consistently the biggest mark for Fox Sports - and a regular Sydney derby could throw viewing figures off the chart.
But the FFA will need to overcome a cynical market after the failure of West Sydney Rovers last year and the delay in meeting the needs of an area generally regarded as football's heartland in Australia.
The new club will be funded by the FFA from this season's unused contingency fund to prop up struggling clubs, and money from the existing TV deal.
A separate board will be established to run the actual club itself, independent of the FFA.
Government involvement is expected to come from a $3million grant to redevelop Football NSW's Parklea HQ to double as a training base for the new side.
According to the Daily Telegraph, there will also be a further $5 million Government investment into the sport in Western Sydney, including $1 million to promote the women's game, opening the door to a West Sydney W-League side.
Tim Cahill is also tipped to be an ambassador for the club, although he is not expected to play for the club.
More details on the side are expected to be unveiled at an FFA press conference tomorrow (Wednesday).