Central Coast Mariners FC
Central Coast Mariners Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in Gosford, on the Central Coast of New South Wales. It competes under licence from Football Federation Australia; the Mariners are one of the eight original A-League teams. It is the first professional sports club from the Gosford region to compete in a national competition. Despite being considered one of the smallest-market clubs in the league, the Central Coast Mariners have claimed one A-League Championship from four Grand Final appearances and topped the table to win the A-League Premiership twice; the club has appeared in the AFC Champions League four times. The club plays matches at a 20,059-seat stadium in Gosford; the facility is home to a youth team that competes in the National Youth League. The English EFL Championship team Sheffield United has invested in the Central Coast-based club, the Mariners has affiliation agreements with several international clubs; the Mariners' main supporters' group is known as the Yellow Army, for the colour of the club's home kit.
The club shares a rivalry with Newcastle Jets, known as the F3 Derby, after the previous name of the motorway that connects the cities of the teams. Matt Simon is the Mariners' all-time leading goalscorer as of December 2014, with 49 goals in all competitions; the team record for matches played is held by John Hutchinson, who has appeared in 263 games for the Mariners. Central Coast Mariners' bid for a franchise in the Football Federation Australia's new A-League competition was aimed at filling the one spot for a regional team, designated by the FFA. Media speculation prior to the announcement of the franchises in the new league suggested that the Mariners' bid may be favourable due to its new blood. Backing from former Australian international player and club technical director Alex Tobin, as well as Clean Up Australia personality Ian Kiernan—who would act as inaugural club chairman—also strengthened its proposal; as the only regional bidder, Central Coast was expected to make it into the league by default.
Following a reported signed deal with the FFA, the club signed former Northern Spirit coach Lawrie McKinna as manager and Ian Ferguson, a former Rangers and Northern Spirit player, as coach. To aid the FFA's goals of building the profile of the sport, the Mariners created formal links with local state league team Central Coast United. On 1 November 2004, after much expectation, the club was announced as one of eight teams to become part of FFA's domestic competition, the A-League; the decision made Central Coast Mariners the first Gosford-based professional sports team to play in a national competition. At the time of the formation of the new league in 2004, the club was owned by Spirits Sports and Leisure Group; the club announced its search for a star player under the league's allowance for one star player outside of the $1.5 million salary cap, insisting that the player should not look at the position as a retirement fund. Coach Lawrie McKinna sought interest from Australia national football team players Ante Milicic and Simon Colosimo, announced that he may sign more than the three under-20 players required by league rules.
Early concerns for the club focussed on concerns over financial stability, but after forming a partnership with technology company Toshiba and a cash injection from local businessman John Singleton, the club's financial worries were eased. McKinna was keen to sign local player Damien Brown of Bateau Bay of the Newcastle Jets. In a decision which prompted the player to declare that he was "over the moon", Brown became the first player to sign with the club. Club chairman Lyall Gorman was pleased that a local had become a "foundation player" and part of Brown's role would be to assist with selection of younger players from the local area. By early December 2004, the club had created a steady foundation of player signings and began negotiations with former Perth Glory striker Nik Mrdja, signing him in the month as its star attacker. Mrjda was one of the most prominent players in the last season of the National Soccer League, scoring the final goal to secure Perth Glory's finals win; the club's management was reluctant to sign a star player outside of the $1.5 million salary cap, stipulating that they "would have to contribute on the pitch and get people to come to the ground."
The Mariners' inaugural season was considered a resounding success by most. Central Coast was defeated by Sydney FC 1–0 in front of a crowd of 41,689—a competition record at the time; the Mariners won the 2005 Pre-Season Cup, defeating Perth Glory in the final 1–0. Before the 2006–07 A-League season, the Mariners secured the services of then-Australian international Tony Vidmar from NAC Breda for two years; this was the club's first marquee signing, following the lead of Adelaide United. Central Coast again reached the grand final in the 2006 Pre-Season Cup, losing to Adelaide United 5–4 on penalties after the score was tied 1–1 after extra time; the Mariners participated in the 2006–07 A-League season, but was unable to gain a spot in the final series, finishing sixth after the regular season. Club captain Noel Spencer was released by the Mariners signed to participate in the Asian Champions League by Sydney FC after the 2006–07 season, Alex Wilkinson was appointed the new captain. Only 22 years of age at the time, Wilkinson had played every possible competitive match for the Mariners up to his appointment.
In February 2008, Central Coast Mariners signed an arrangem
Assen is a municipality and a city in the northeastern Netherlands, is the capital of the province of Drenthe. It received city rights in 1809. Assen is known for TT Circuit Assen, the motorcycle racing circuit, where on the last Sunday in June the Dutch TT is run. Anreep, Assen, De Haar, Loon, Schieven, Ter Aard, Witten and Zeijerveld; the history of the capital of Drenthe can be traced back to at least 1258, when a new location had to be found for Marienkamp Abbey, built near Coevorden as a penalty for the slaughter in 1227 of the army of the Bishop of Utrecht at the hands of Drenthe's peasants, in what has come to be known as the Battle of Ane – a battle, incidentally, in which the bishop was killed. His successor ordered the nunnery to be built as a penalty; as it was located in a barren peat area, which happened to flood from time to time, a better location had to be found. A better and drier spot for the Cistercian abbey was found in an area known as Witten, where at the time only a few farms were located.
Around it were village communities like Deurze and Peelo. The latter has a history which goes back to the times from when Dolmens were built, but it is now situated between two new districts of Assen; the "relocated" abbey was erected in the 1260s, over the centuries Assen developed around it. The abbey was built at. On the abbey site now stands the Drents Museum, built in 1882 as provinciehuis. Only the abdijkerk, the grounds, bits and pieces of walls remind us of the religious beginnings of the city; the coat of arms is directly borrowed from the seal of the abbey. It is just like the coat of arms of the province of Drenthe - in both cases Mary with child - but Jesus switches to the other knee; the history of the city is connected with the provincial governing board: around 1600 the abbey property was secularised. Marienkamp no longer existed; because of the central position of Assen and the fact that the government from what was called de Landschap Drenthe was searching for a location for the government and civil servants, Assen became the seat for, thus also the capital of Drenthe.
Assen was not a municipality yet, not ecclesiastical sense. Though there was an abbey church, Assen fell ecclesiastically and administratively under Rolde. In 1615 Assen got its own preacher. In 1807 Assen administratively freed itself from the control of Rolde when the village got to establish its own municipal authorities. A municipal authority which moreover in most cases operated in the shadow of the provincial government, which always manifested itself prominent in the Drentse Haagje; the municipal authority got there because of matter of provincial governors like Governor Petrus Hofstede, to which the city thanks its uniquely located park. From that time Assen obtained its nickname het Herenbolwerk. Assen has been an official city since 1809. After Coevorden a village of about sixteen hundred people, Assen became the second place in Drenthe with city rights, granted by King Louis Napoleon, who had big plans for the village. A plan to make it a city was set up at the time, but the Kingdom of the Netherlands was incorporated into Napoleon Bonaparte's French Empire and the plans were abandoned.
As an administrative centre, Assen attracted well-to-do inhabitants and with that new enterprises and initiatives. These contributed to a slow but steady increase of commerce and new establishments. Another major achievement was the canal Drentse Hoofdvaart, used for transporting peat and other goods; the most important monuments of the city are from the nineteenth century. Around 1900 Assen began to play a more prominent industrial role, it was a centre of civil servants, but the establishment of a slaughterhouse, dairy factory and iron foundry created more diverse expansion opportunities and encouraged growth. Around 1930, by establishing various psychiatric hospitals and healthcare centres, Assen became a central point for health care in the province. After the Second World War, Assen did not have more than 20,000 inhabitants; the Assen TT made the city more known, but it was not until the 1950s, with the development of an industrial core, did Assen begin to grow more quickly. The Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij established itself in the city and with that, a trend was set.
Now, Assen is known not only because of Bartje and the Drentse Rijwielvierdaagse. It is the fastest-growing city in the northern part of the Netherlands, with ample employment opportunities in the service industry. An unprecedented growth of the city in terms of houses and inhabitants is taking place with environmental issues becoming more urgent; the Assen railway station connects the city to the rest of the country. Assen's city centre is closed to through motor traffic, it has an extensive network of off-road cycle paths, 41% of all journeys in Assen are by bicycle; the city has progressively become more cycle friendly since the 1960s. Tourist Trophy The TT Circuit Assen is one of the most famous motorcycle racing circuits in the world and is the only circuit, in the MotoGP calendar since its beginn
Sérgio Bernardino, known as Serginho Chulapa or Serginho, is a Brazilian retired footballer who played as a striker, is the assistant manager of Santos FC. Born in São Paulo, Serginho was a São Paulo FC youth graduate, he made his first-team debut on 6 June 1973, in a 0–0 friendly draw against Bahia, scored his first goal four days in a 1–1 draw against Corinthians for the Taça Estado de São Paulo tournament. In 1974, returning from a loan to Série B side Marília, Serginho became a mainstay at Tricolor, scoring an impressive mark of 18 goals in the 1977 season. On 12 February 1978, Serginho assaulted the linesman Vandevaldo Rangel, was handed a 14-month suspension, subsequently missing out the 1978 FIFA World Cup. In the 1981 Finals, he received a straight red card after kicking Emerson Leão. In 1983 Serginho joined Santos, was the top goalscorer of both Campeonato Paulista and Série A, both with 22 goals. With the club he lifted the state championship in the following year, scoring 74 goals in 110 matches during his first spell.
In 1985, Serginho moved to rivals Corinthians, joining a team, known as Selecão Corinthiana due to the high level of quality of the squad. After an above-average campaign both individually and teamwise, he left the club. Serginho returned to Santos in 1986 stating that he took a "sabbatical year" at Corinthians, he would, struggle with injuries during his second spell, subsequently moved to Portugal's Marítimo. Returning to Santos for a third spell in 1988, Serginho featured before moving to Malatyaspor in Turkey, he went back to his previous club in 1989, subsequently represented Portuguesa Santista, São Caetano and Atlético Sorocaba. For the Brazilian team he was capped twenty times between May 1979 and July 1982, participated at 1982 FIFA World Cup, where he played in all five matches and scored two goals. Serginho further represented Brazil in the 1990 edition of the World Cup of Masters, scoring in the final against Netherlands. Serginho returned to Santos as Pepe's assistant. After the latter's dismissal he was appointed interim manager, remained in charge of the club until November, being himself sacked after headbutting a journalist.
In 1995 he was relieved from his duties in March. In 1996 Serginho was in charge of another club he represented as a player, Portuguesa Santista, took the side back to the first division of the Paulistão, he was in charge of São Caetano in the following year, returned to Briosa in 1999. In 2000, after spells in charge of Remo and Araçatuba, Serginho returned to Santos as Geninho's assistant. In August 2001, he was appointed manager, but he resigned shortly after. For the 2002 campaign, Serginho was in charge of former sides União São João and Portuguesa Santista, he was still linked to Santos from 2002 to 2004, but was removed from his role as Leão was the manager. Returning as an assistant in 2005, he was an interim after Vanderlei Luxemburgo's departure. On 29 February 2008, Serginho was appointed manager of Portuguesa Santista for the fourth time. On 8 August he returned to Santos as Márcio Fernandes' assistant. In July of the following year he became an interim, with his spell being marked by a push in a field reporter after a 3–3 home draw against Grêmio Barueri.
On 23 July 2018, after the departure of Jair Ventura, Serginho returned to managerial duties after nearly nine years as an assistant. He returned to his previous duties after the appointment of Cuca. São Paulo Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: 1977 Campeonato Paulista: 1975, 1980, 1981Santos Campeonato Paulista: 1984 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A top scorer: 1983 Campeonato Paulista top scorer: 1975, 1977, 1983, 1984 Serginho Chulapa at ForaDeJogo Serginho Chulapa at Sambafoot Serginho Chulapa at National-Football-Teams.com Serginho at Mackolik.com
Multiple citizenship, dual citizenship, multiple nationality or dual nationality, is a person's citizenship status, in which a person is concurrently regarded as a citizen of more than one state under the laws of those states. Conceptually, citizenship is focused on the internal political life of the state and nationality is a matter of international dealings. There is no international convention which determines the nationality or citizenship status of a person; this is defined by national laws, which can vary and can conflict. Multiple citizenship arises because different countries use different, not mutually exclusive, criteria for citizenship. Colloquial speech refers to people "holding" multiple citizenship but, each nation makes a claim that a particular person is considered its national; some countries do not permit dual citizenship. This may be by requiring an applicant for naturalization to renounce all existing citizenship, or by withdrawing its citizenship from someone who voluntarily acquires another citizenship, or by other devices.
Some countries do not permit a renunciation of citizenship. Some countries permit a general dual citizenship while others permit dual citizenship but only of a limited number of countries. Most countries which permit dual citizenship may still not recognize the other citizenship of its nationals within its own territory. For example, in relation to entry into the country, national service, duty to vote, etc, it may not permit consular access by another country for a person, its national. Some countries prohibit dual citizenship holders from serving in their militaries or on police forces or holding certain public offices. Up until the late 19th century, nations decided whom they claimed as their citizens or subjects, did not recognize any other nationalities they held. Many states did not recognize the right of their citizens to renounce their citizenship without permission, due to policies that originated with the feudal theory of perpetual allegiance to the sovereign; this meant that people could hold multiple citizenships, with none of their nations recognizing any other of their citizenships.
Until the early modern era, when levels of migration were insignificant, this was not a serious issue. However, when non-trivial levels of migration began, this state of affairs sometimes led to international incidents, with countries of origin refusing to recognize the new nationalities of natives who had migrated, when possible, conscripting natives who had naturalized as citizens of another country into military service; the most notable example was the War of 1812, triggered by British impressment of American seamen who were alleged to be British subjects into naval service. In the aftermath of the 1867 Fenian Rising, Irish-Americans who had gone to Ireland to participate in the uprising and were caught were charged with treason, as the British authorities considered them to be British subjects; this outraged many Irish-Americans, to which the British responded by pointing out that, just like British law, American law recognized perpetual allegiance. As a result, Congress passed the Expatriation Act of 1868, which granted Americans the right to renounce their U.
S. citizenship. Britain followed suit with a similar law, years signed a treaty agreeing to treat British subjects who had become U. S. citizens as no longer holding British nationality. During this time, diplomatic incidents had arisen between the United States and several other European countries over their tendency to conscript naturalized American citizens visiting their former homelands. In response, the US government negotiated agreements with various European states known as the Bancroft Treaties, under which the signatories pledged to treat the voluntary naturalization of a former citizen or national with another sovereign nation as a renunciation of their citizenship; as a result, the theory of perpetual allegiance fell out of favor with governments during the late 19th century. With the consensus of the time being that dual citizenship would only lead to diplomatic problems, more governments began prohibiting it, revoking the nationality of citizens holding another nationality. By the mid-20th century, dual nationality was prohibited worldwide, although there were exceptions.
For example, a series of U. S. Supreme Court rulings permitted Americans born with citizenship in another country to keep it without losing their U. S. citizenship. At the 1930 League of Nations Codification Conference, an attempt was made to codify nationality rules into a universal worldwide treaty, the 1930 Hague Convention, whose chief aims would be to abolish both statelessness and dual citizenship; the 1930 Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws proposed laws that would have reduced both, but in the end was ratified by only twenty nations. However, the consensus against dual nationality began to erode due to changes in social mores and attitudes. By the late 20th century it was becoming accepted again. Many states were lifting restrictions on dual citizenship. For example, the British Nationality Act 1948 removed restrictions on dual citizenship in the United Kingdom, the 1967 Afroyim v. Rusk ruling by the U. S. Supreme Court prohibited the U. S. government from involuntarily stripping citizenship from Americans over dual citizenship, the Canadian Citizenship Act, 1976, removed restrictions on dual citizenship in Canada.
The number of states allowing multiple citizenship further increased after a treaty in Europe requiring signatories to limit dual citizenship lapsed in the 1990s, countries with high emigration rates began permitting it to maintain links with their respective diasporas. The rights of citizenship are determined
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
The 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification was a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations. The 2014 FIFA World Cup featured 32 teams, with one place reserved for the host nation, Brazil; the remaining 31 places were determined by a qualification process, in which the other 207 teams, from the six FIFA confederations, competed. Most of the successful teams were determined within these confederations, with a limited number of inter-confederation play-offs occurring at the end of the process. Bhutan, Brunei and Mauritania did not enter, South Sudan joined FIFA after the qualification process started and therefore could not take part; the qualification process consisted of 820 matches, reduced from 824 after the late withdrawals of the Bahamas and Mauritius. The first qualification match, between Montserrat and Belize, was played on 15 June 2011, the Belizean striker Deon McCaulay scored the first goal in qualification. Qualification ended on 20 November 2013, when Uruguay eliminated Jordan to become the final qualifier for the World Cup.
Twenty-three of FIFA's 24 top-ranked countries qualified. 12 of the 32 teams subsequently failed to qualify for the 2018 finals: Algeria and Herzegovina, Chile, Ghana, Honduras, Ivory Coast and United States. The FIFA Executive Committee decided to approve the change of date for the preliminary draw of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, held six months earlier than in the past, to allow the confederations to begin their qualifying competitions in good time; the draw was held on 30 July 2011 at the Marina da Glória in Rio de Brazil. The distribution by confederation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is: AFC: 4 or 5 places CAF: 5 places CONCACAF: 3 or 4 places CONMEBOL: 4 or 5 places OFC: 0 or 1 place UEFA: 13 placesUEFA and CAF have a guaranteed number of places, whereas the number of qualifiers from other confederations is dependent on play-offs between AFC's fifth-placed team and CONMEBOL's fifth-placed team, between CONCACAF's fourth-placed team and OFC's first-placed team. A draw determined the pairings between the four teams involved.
After the first round of 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, the percentage of teams from each confederation that passed through to the round of 16 was as follows: AFC: 0% CAF: 40% CONCACAF: 75% CONMEBOL: 83% OFC: n/a UEFA: 46% For FIFA World Cup qualifying stages using a league format, the method used for separating teams level on points is the same for all Confederations. If teams are on points at the end of group play, the tied teams will be ranked by: goal difference in all group matches greater number of goals scored in all group matches greater number of points obtained in matches between the tied teams goal difference in matches between the tied teams greater number of goals scored in matches between the tied teams greater number of away goals scored in matches between the tied teams if only two teams are tiedIf teams are still equal a single play-off at a neutral venue will be played. If scores are level after 90 minutes in the play-off two 15-minutes periods of extra time and a penalty shoot-out would determine the winner.
For FIFA World Cup qualifying stages using a home-and-away knockout format, the team that has the higher aggregate score over the two legs progresses to the next round. In the event that aggregate scores finish level, the away goals rule is applied, i.e. the team that scored more goals away from home over the two legs progresses. If away goals are equal thirty minutes of extra time are played, divided into two fifteen-minutes halves; the away goals rule is again applied after extra time, i.e. if there are goals scored during extra time and the aggregate score is still level, the visiting team qualifies by virtue of more away goals scored. If no goals are scored during extra time, the tie is decided by penalty shoot-out. Qualification began with two sets of two-leg knockout qualification rounds – the first held on 29 June and 2 July and 3 July 2011 and the second on 23 and 28 July – reducing the number of teams in the main draw to 20; the draw for the first two rounds of qualifiers was held in Kuala Lumpur on 30 March 2011.
As in the 2010 format, the third stage consisted of 5 groups of 4 teams with the top 2 in each group advancing to 2 groups of 5 that played a further group stage during 2012. The top two teams in each group qualified for the 2014 World Cup directly, while the two third-placed teams engaged in a play-off tie for a chance to qualify via a further inter-confederation qualifying tie against a team from CONMEBOL; the qualification process began with 43 national teams vying for four and a half spots. 4 nations have qualified: Japan, Australia and Korea Republic. Jordan beat Uzbekistan in round 5 and played Uruguay, the fifth-placed team from CONMEBOL, for the right to qualify, where they were eliminated. 52 out of the 53 national associations affiliated to CAF entered the qualifying tournament to determine the continent's five slots for the next World Cup. Qualification began with a first round of 12 two-legged knockout ties, which were held between 11 and 16 November 2011; the ties involved the 24 lowest-ranked teams according to FIFA world rankings.
The 12 winners joined t
The A-League is a professional men's soccer league run by Football Federation Australia. At the top of the Australian league system, it is the country's primary competition for the sport; the A-League was established in 2004 as a successor to the National Soccer League and competition commenced in August 2005. The league is contested by ten teams, it is known as the Hyundai A-League through a sponsorship arrangement with the Hyundai Motor Company. Seasons run from October to May and include a 27-round regular season followed by a Finals Series playoff involving the highest-placed teams, culminating in a grand final match; the winner of the regular season tournament is dubbed the'premier' while the winner of the grand final is the season's'champion'. This differs from the other major football codes in Australia, where'premier' refers to the winner of the grand final and the winner of the regular season is the'minor premier'. Successful A-League clubs gain qualification into the continental competition, the Asian Football Confederation Champions League known as "AFC Champions League".
Similar to the United States and Canada's Major League Soccer, as well as other professional sports leagues in Australia, Australia's A-League does not practice promotion and relegation. Since the league's inaugural season, a total of six clubs have been crowned A-League Premiers and five clubs have been crowned A-League Champions; the current premier is Perth Glory. The current champions are Melbourne Victory, who won the 2018 A-League Grand Final, equaling the record of four domestic titles held by Marconi Stallions, South Melbourne, Sydney City; the A-League does not recognize the history of its predecessor, the National Soccer League, the nations premier football competition from 1977 to 2004. A national round-robin tournament existed in various forms prior to the formation of the A-League, with the most notable being the National Soccer League; the formation of the NSL came after Australia's qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, which led to discussion of a national league, with 14 teams chosen to participate in the inaugural season of the NSL in 1977.
Under the guidance of the then-governing body, the Australian Soccer Federation, the NSL flourished through the 1980s and early 1990s but fell into decline with the increasing departure of Australian players to overseas leagues, a disastrous television deal with the Seven Network and the resulting lack of sponsorship. Few clubs continued to grow with Sydney Olympic, Perth Glory, the newly established Adelaide United the exception in a dying league. In April 2003, the Australian Federal Government initiated the Independent Soccer Review Committee to investigate the governance and management of the sport in Australia, including that of the NSL. In December 2003, the Crawford Report found that the NSL was financially unviable, in response the chairman of the sports new governing body, Frank Lowy of Football Federation Australia, announced that a task force would be formed to create a new national competition as a successor to the NSL which dissolved at the conclusion of the 2003–04 season after 27 years of operation.
The A-League was announced in April 2004, as a successor to the NSL. Eight teams would be part of the new national competition, with one team from each city of Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, plus a New Zealand team and one from a remaining expressions of interest from either Melbourne or Sydney; the competition start date was set for August 2005. By June 2004, 20 submissions had been received and a month 12 consortiums sent in their final bids for the eight spots. Three bids were received from Melbourne, two each from Sydney and Brisbane, one from each of the remaining preferred cities and a bid from the New South Wales Central Coast city of Gosford. Over the next three months, each bid was reviewed and on 1 November 2004, the eight successful bidders and the major sponsor were revealed, for what would be known as the Hyundai A-League, with the Hyundai Motor Company unveiled as the official naming rights sponsor for the league; the eight founding teams for the league were Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, New Zealand Knights, Perth Glory, Queensland Roar and Sydney FC, with three former NSL clubs taking part, those being Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory, as well as Queensland Roar and New Zealand Knights who were formed from NSL clubs Brisbane Lions and New Zealand Football Kingz.
Each club was given a five-year exclusivity deal in its own market as part of the league's "one-city, one-team" policy. This was intended to allow clubs to grow and develop an identity in their respective region without local competition. On 26 August 2005, 16 months after the demise of the NSL, the inaugural season of the A-League began; the first season would see Adelaide United win the premier's plate by seven points over Sydney FC with Central Coast and Newcastle filling the final two spots in the final series. In the final series, it was Sydney that took out the title after they defeated Central Coast by a Steve Corica goal to claim the first title on 5 March 2006. On 20 March 2007, it was announced that Wellington Phoenix would replace New Zealand Knights from the start of the 2007–08 season. Both Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury joined the league in the 2009–10 season. On 12 June 2009, Melbourne Heart was awarded a licence to join the 2010–11 season. On 1 March 2011 North Queensland Fury's A-League licence was revoked for financial reasons.
On 29 February 2012, Gold Coast United had its licence revoked. On 4 April 2012 it was announced that a new We