Johnson lauds A-League season completion

FFA CEO James Johnson says the A-League's successful season completion with relatively minimal setbacks is a credit to the sport and its players.

FFA chief executive James Johnson has lauded football's resilience as the A-League became Australia's first professional competition to complete its season after being shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The A-League was suspended in late March, as the spread of coronavirus gradually forced world sport to be put on hold, but in late May A-League chiefs committed to seeing out the 2019-20 season.

Games resumed in July and Sydney FC's triumph in Sunday night's grand final capped off a successful return in a tight window.

"It's a further demonstration of the resilience of our code," Johnson told AAP.

"I think it's a further illustration of what the code can achieve when it's unified.

"We've seen all across the world, many football leagues that didn't complete the season. They threw the towel in.

"That's not been us; that's not been Australian football.

"... The other factor I take out of it that we are the first Australian professional competition to finish the season during COVID and I think that's a huge credit to our code."

The season restart, the majority of which was completed in a NSW hub, did not come without setbacks.

Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Western United twice failed to enter NSW in late-night scrambles in early July, forcing all three teams to undergo 14-day quarantine periods before seeing out their campaigns.

"The sport certainly learned a lesson with the players in Melbourne," Johnson said.

"I think the lesson was in this COVID environment, there is no room for complacency whatsoever."

Wellington Phoenix and Perth Sydney committed to entering a hub early, with the three Victorian teams, then Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar, following suit.

It saw players and staff separated from their families for weeks, while the Roar are now completing hotel quarantine after their return to Queensland.

The A-League has been relatively free of COVID-19 protocol breaches since the shutdown and Johnson lauded the players' commitment.

"The clubs have shown real grit, both in ownership and management level to get through this and the players have made a lot of sacrifices, not just economical sacrifices, but human sacrifices," Johnson said.

"They've had to leave their families for months on end, they've had to be part of a bubble.

"I think without the commitment of both the clubs and the players, we just simply wouldn't have finished."

There will be little time for football's governing body to rest, however, with planning under way for next season - the final year of the current Fox Sports broadcast deal.

The new campaign will begin in early 2021 - as opposed to a previously flagged December start date - with uncertainty around the duration of state border restrictions one of the key factors.

"Next year's A-League and W-League will start later," Johnson said.

"Most likely it will start in 2021, in the early periods.

"We're still settling on an exact date - for good reason - because this pandemic does change every week.

"So we've got some discussions, obviously with our broadcast partners around when the exact date will be.

"... The opportunity for our code in this pandemic is we're going to be able to see what the value is of the A-League playing most of its season at a time when the rest of the game is playing."