Australian Tier 1

Isuzu UTE A-League

League Guide & Facts


  • The top tier of Australian football

  • 12 teams (11 Australian, 1 New Zealand)

  • Comprises of a regular season followed by a knockout play-off system leading to a grand final

  • Regular Season teams play each other at least once (26 games)

  • 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw

Playoffs

  • Top 6 qualify for the knockout stage with the top 2 getting a bye to the semi final

  • Grand Final decides overall winner

Relegation

  • None, closed shop

Notable Rules

  • 1 goalkeeper on the bench

  • 2 under 21 players must be on the bench

  • Maximum of 5 foreign players

  • Wellington Phoenix cannot qualify for continental competition through the league as they are not recognised as an Asian Federation Club

  • League Reputation is 2 stars

Transfer, Registration and Salary Cap Rules

From the Football Manager 2023 manual

Competition Structure

Twelve teams play each three times throughout the season – which runs from mid-October until early or mid-April in normal times – to complete a total of 33 fixtures.

The top six teams advance to the Finals Series. The top two teams receive a bye (allowing them to progress automatically) while 3rd plays 6th and 4th plays 5th for the right to advance. The top-ranked team then plays the lowest remaining seed, with the two remaining teams also squaring off as the competition adopts a straightforward Semi Final to Final knockout approach.

The winning team qualifies for the Asian Champions League, as does the team which finishes top of the regular season. If the same team achieves both feats, the runner up in the Grand Final takes the second berth. Wellington Phoenix are ineligible for qualification as New Zealand belongs to the Oceania Confederation, while Australia belongs to the Asian Confederation.

Squad/Player Eligibility Rules

Squads are limited to 26 players (and a minimum squad size of 20), of which two must be goalkeepers and no more than five can be foreign (i.e. from outside of Australia, or in the case of Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand). A minimum of three Australian (or NZ) U23 players must be registered.

A salary cap is in place, enforced in the region of A$2.6m per season. There is a salary floor also in place, requiring teams to spend at least 90% of that figure.

Teams are also able to utilise the Designated Player rules. Designating a player makes them exempt from salary cap regulations and allows teams to pay them a higher wage to increase their chances of attracting/retaining players of greater quality.

The Designated Player tag can be applied to two players of any type while provisions are made for Mature Age Rookies: players playing in the Australian Premier League who can come in on non-contract terms for a limited spell of matches. Similarly, Guest Players may feature for up to 14 matches in the regular season. They do not need to be registered as a part of the overall squad. There is no limit on the salary a Guest Player can be paid but clubs are limited to a maximum of one per season.

Loyalty Players are defined as those who have spent four or more consecutive seasons at a club and the league allows a portion of those players’ salaries to be exempt from the Salary Cap on a progressive scale depending on the length of service.

Teams can name a maximum of seven substitutes on a match day, of which one must be a goalkeeper and only three can be used. There must also be at least two domestic Under-22 players on the bench, and at least three domestic Under-23s in the match day squad.

The Transfer Market

With the salary cap being relatively low and the Australian league’s reputation not quite at the levels of some of the more prestigious leagues, the transfer market is mostly reserved for identifying Designated Player targets. South American imports have been among the favourites of the league, but teams are just as likely to use the Designated Player tag on Australians for both the domestic and international slots. This is typically done when trying to sign a high-profile Australian international footballer who may have plied their trade overseas for much of their career. Guest Players arrive on a higher level still, with no salary restrictions and the short-term contract proving attractive to players of a more substantial worldwide profile.

Otherwise, clubs are encouraged to develop their own talent and not rely on sourcing talent from elsewhere. This is evidenced in the fact that clubs cannot make offers for other players playing within the A-League; players may only move in exchange deals.

There are two transfer windows, with the main off-season window beginning in late July and closing in mid- October, while there is a short mid-season window operating for most of January.



Location of Teams


Suggested* Additional Nations To Load

An Asian Journeyman


There's plenty of scope for career progression with this setup and having all other nations in Asia running will keep the continental club competitions strong too


*As always this is only a suggestion, feel free to run as many or as little leagues as you feel your system can handle. The setup above gives a nice regional feel and still maintains historic transfer links with the two European Nations mentioned


Media Prediction, Board/Supporter Expectations and Title Odds

Australia is a bit of a bone of contention for me as a LLaMa as are all of the nations with a single tier, my personal gut feeling is that I would only ever start as one of the bottom 3 maybe bottom 7 at a push.

Anything above that would be a little too strong for my tastes but hey, if you've read the rules and finally got your head around the player allocation and salary cap and you were sent here by the LLMPicker then who am I to argue with the 3 Llamas?

Keep in mind the figures you see below may be slightly different in your game but once you get started you'll see that they are broadly the same


Football Manager 2023 - Australian A-League - Board Culture


Football Manager 2023 - Australian A-League - Supporter Culture

New for Football Manager 2023, All A-League teams supporters expect players to be developed through the clubs youth systems


Football Manager 2023 - Australian A-League Men

Facilities

Facilities Explained

Training Facilities

The better the training facilities the more chance (already visible) players will develop.

Here are the facilities ranking from worst to best -

  • Poor

  • Basic

  • Below Average

  • Adequate

  • Average

  • Good

  • Great

  • Excellent

  • Superb

  • State of the Art


Youth Facilities

The training facilities available for Juniors (only).

Does NOT apply to visible players already at the club. All visible players currently at the club use Training Facilities regardless of age.

In theory the better these facilities the greater your players will be developed on the day of intake. But there are a lot of factors at play.

Here are the facilities ranking from worst to best -

  • Poor

  • Basic

  • Below Average

  • Adequate

  • Average

  • Good

  • Great

  • Excellent

  • Superb

  • State of the Art


Junior Coaching

The quality and quantity of unseen youth coaches that affects the quality of players in your youth intake

Junior coaching is ranked as follows from worst to best -

  • Basic

  • Fairly Basic

  • Average

  • Adequate

  • Good

  • Excellent

  • Exceptional


Youth Recruitment

This determines how large a pool of players your team can recruit from. It is the size of your recruitment network. It increases your chances of getting the best young players from your area, nation and beyond.

Some clubs of course will have no youth recruitment at all, which means no youth intakes.

Recruitment is ranked as follows from worst to best -

  • Limited

  • Basic

  • Fairly Basic

  • Average

  • Adequate

  • Good

  • Excellent

  • Exceptional


Adelaide United

Brisbane Roar

Central Coast


Macarthur FC

Melbourne City

Melbourne Victory


Newcastle Jets

Perth Glory

Sydney FC


Wellington Phoenix

Western Sydney

Western United


Football Manager 2023 - Australian A-League Men

Kits & Logos

All Kits & Logos available from the excellent graphics creators over at FM Slovakia & Sortitoutsi.net respectively

Kits above come with the base game