Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Western United are poised to depart Victoria and leave the state bereft of top-line professional football teams as the border with NSW slams shut.
Monday's announcement that the NSW-Victoria border will close due to Melbourne's worsening COVID-19 outbreak is set to force the A-League's hand and drive Melbourne's three clubs to relocate to NSW for this month's season restart.
After the government announcement, the A-League clubs were in discussion with the FFA, with Victory, City and United planning to arrive in NSW on Tuesday.
The border will be closed to Melbourne residents from midnight on Monday night - but the FFA was in discussions with the NSW government on Monday afternoon regarding plans for a Tuesday morning charter flight for the three A-League clubs.
The border closure will be extended to all Victorians at 11.59pm on Tuesday.
Meanwhile Supercars has confirmed its Victorian-based teams will relocate to NSW.
All Victorian Supercars teams hit the road on Monday in a scramble to enter NSW before midnight.
Like 10 AFL teams, NRL's Melbourne Storm and Super Rugby's Melbourne Rebels, Victoria's A-League clubs will have no clear idea when they can return home.
Some Victorian AFL clubs travelled to their hubs on Sunday, with the remainder to depart by Monday evening.
Storm have been outside Victoria for almost two weeks - originally relocating to NSW for one game before setting up camp on the Sunshine Coast.
They will play their home games in Brisbane for the foreseeable future.
The Rebels moved to Canberra on June 26 and will play their home games at a range of venues. They are unlikely to return to Victoria any time soon.
The Victorian A-League clubs had previously been briefed on the possibility of heading into a NSW hub before their return to play and had been preparing to move interstate if necessary.
Western United are due to play Melbourne Victory on July 16 and then Melbourne City on July 20, with the venue for both games initially listed as "TBC", depending on border restrictions.
The Victorian clubs had originally hoped to play those games at AAMI Park before heading into a NSW hub - but that now appears impossible.
"If things aren't going well in Victoria, I imagine that we'll be in a hub, most likely in NSW, for probably four-odd weeks," Victory veteran Leigh Broxham told RSN radio on Monday morning.
Broxham and his wife Sam are parents to young triplets and the Victory veteran was uncertain whether he would bring his family into a hub - or if it would even be an option.
Second-placed City have just three regular-season games remaining, while United (sixth, six games to play) and Victory (10th, five games left) face packed schedules.
Australian Associated Press