It is unclear just how many support staff will travel with the teams to provide backing to the football departments and playing and coaching staff.
Western United CEO Chris Pehlivanis will travel with his team. On Monday night he said that clubs were working through the situation with the FFA and things were “up in the air” given the haste with which the crisis had forced the relocation decision to be made.
“They have got all the teams travelling together. We are just getting on with it because we can’t change the situation,” he said.
“It would have been great to play at least those first two games [Western were due to face Melbourne City at AAMI Park on July 20 after their game against Victory] in Melbourne but let’s be honest, there are a lot worse things going on in the world.
“All our players will be going.”
City is the highest placed of the three Victorian clubs and a certainty to make finals. The club is looking to finish high enough up the ladder to snare Asian Champions League qualification as a minimum.
Coach Erick Mombaerts has given City a more settled look this season and they have been in the top two on the table – albeit at a respectful distance behind runaway leaders and defending champions Sydney FC – all campaign.
Victory, under caretaker coach Grant Brebner, would look to only be making up the numbers. The A-League powerhouse is languishing near the foot of the table.
Western United is on the cusp. A run of good results could see them make the finals in their debut campaign. However, if they do not get off to a good start in what would have been local derbies (had they not been relocated) their chances will become harder.
Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and also reports on motor sport and horseracing