The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has today awarded a full A-League licence to Bill Foley, who also owns AFC Bournemouth in the English Premier League.

This confirms Auckland’s entry into the A-League Men’s competition for the 2024/25 season, whilst the women’s team will have to wait an extra year for the 2025/26 campaign.

The deal comes just over a month since the APL announced Foley as their preferred bidder for the Auckland expansion.

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Foley, who also owns a significant investment in FC Lorient says he’s excited to hit the ground running.

“It’s an honour to bring a top football club to Auckland,” he said.

“It’s a special place and an area that I know will embrace this team.”

However, it may be Foley’s achievements outside of football than give Kiwi fans the greatest source of optimism.

It took Foley’s Vegas Golden Knights just six years to go from NHL expansion team to Stanley Cup champions, a feat he is hoping to replicate in the A-League.

“Building a championship team from expansion has been my most exhilarating professional achievement, and I aim to do the same for the fans of New Zealand and particularly the community on the north island” he said.

Chair of the APL, The Hon Stephen Conroy says he is delighted to welcome an experienced sporting mind into the A-Leagues.

“In Bill Foley we have a proven global sports investor and operator with a track record of building deep roots in the community, a passion for football, and a long-standing business and personal relationship with New Zealand,” he said.

Football Australia and Football New Zealand will now seek final approval from the Oceania Football Confederation, the AFC and FIFA.

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