In December 2003, the Crawford Report found that the NSL was financially unviable, and 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.
Eight teams would be part of the new national competition, with one team from each city of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Newcastle, plus a New Zealand team and one from a remaining expressions of interest from either Melbourne or Sydney.
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'.
The league is currently contested by ten teams; nine based in Australia and one based in New Zealand.An EHP spokesperson explained whale calves separated from their mothers are more likely to become stranded.'Separation can be due to natural causes such as premature birth, shark attacks, or illness.Human causes include boat strikes and net or line entanglements.'EHP warned stranded whales should be reported immediately and people need to be wary of coming too close, due to disease and the risk of sharks in shallow waters.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.