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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'.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.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.
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.
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 and champion is Sydney FC, who finished first in the 2016–17 league season and won the 2017 A-League Grand Final.
This was intended to allow clubs to grow and develop an identity in their respective region without local competition.
The regular season runs mainly during the Australian summer, from early October to April of the following year.