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SBD Global/June 20, 2012/International Football

A-League Will Change It Up With New Finals Format

Football Federation Australia will adopt a new finals format, reducing the series from four weeks to three, eliminating the preliminary final and making every game sudden death, according to Ray Gatt of THE AUSTRALIAN. FFA said the revamp was made to "reduce the repetitive nature of the previous system." However, consistent revenue losses in the penultimate week of the finals because of poor attendances is "understood to have played a major role." The new format will schedule teams finishing first and second the opening week off while third will play sixth and fourth will play fifth. The following week, first will play the lowest-ranked winner while second will play the highest-ranked winner for the right to move on to the grand final. FFA CEO Ben Buckley said, "We've listened to the fans and consulted clubs, broadcast partners, media and venues to design a draw that is both consistent and compelling" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/20).
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