Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi says it will be a shame in a footballing sense if Wellington Phoenix are to be booted from the A-League.
Aloisi's side is preparing for Saturday's clash with the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium, amid huge debate over whether the New Zealand side should be allowed to stay in the competition.
A report from Fairfax Media claims Football Federation Australia is examining the possibility of replacing Wellington, whose A-League licence expires at the end of the season, with a third team from Sydney as early as next year.
FFA has been considering the possibility of ending New Zealand involvement in the A-League, on the basis it does little for Australian football and that the Phoenix don't attract strong enough crowds or TV ratings.
Aloisi said it wasn't for him to comment on whether the Phoenix should stay in the competition or not, but praised them for their on-field contribution during their eight-season stint in the A-League.
"All I can say is Wellington, while they've been in it, football-wise have been very good," Aloisi told reporters on Thursday.
"They've come a long way. The first season they didn't get the results, but after that they played some fantastic football and got into the finals quite a few times.
"They're a team that's always played an attractive style of football as well, (but) about what the FFA are going to do? I can't make comment on."
FFA and Wellington's owners, the Welnix group, are locked in ongoing negotiations over extending the club's tenure in the A-League.
The Phoenix have already moved to play down the report, with general manager David Dome saying: "The FFA see the Phoenix as being one of the 10 teams in the A-League next year - they've always said that."
"It's a fluid situation - (chairman) Rob Morrison's working very hard on a proposal but there's no firm timeline."