As we know, the premiers plate does not mean a whole lot in the A-League.

Finishing on top of the table is only half the battle with the championship being the most prestigious prize in Australian football.

Eight of the 13 championships have been won by the premiers of that season – with the league leaders having only missed the grand final twice.

There have been some impressive sides who have fallen victim to the cruel nature of the finals series and here are the top five sides to have not won a championship.

  1. Sydney FC 2017/18

One still fresh in the mind of Sydney FC supporters – the Sky Blues finished 14 points clear on top of the table and were favoured to claim their second successive Championship.

But the Sky Blues – despite being regarded as one the greatest A-League teams ever – were defeated in a thrilling semi-final against the Melbourne Victory.

This was ultimately Graham Arnold’s final match as Sydney FC head coach where he had players like record goal-scoring machine Bobo and Johnny Warren medalists Adrian Mierzejewsk iand Milos Ninkovic.

Victory – who finished 27 points behind their rivals in fourth – would go on to claim their fourth Championship and stun the Australian football scene.

This result has acted as somewhat of a catalyst in raising discussion about the future of the finals series.

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  1. Adelaide United 2005/06

After finishing seven points clear on top of the table in the league’s inaugural season – the Reds failed to advance to the grand final.

Adelaide would be the only side to win the premiers plate and not advance to the grand final until Sydney FC in 2017/18.

The Reds went out in the finals series to an early Tom Pondeljak goal for the Central Coast Mariners at Hindmarsh Stadium – denying the Reds of the chance to be crowned the inaugural champions.

  1. Western Sydney Wanderers 2012/13

The new kids on the block soon became the league’s newest premiers – finishing on top of the table in their inaugural season and creating plenty of noise.

With former Socceroo Tony Popovic at the helm the Wanderers lifted the premiers plate after a convincing home win which had fans dreaming of the ultimate prize.

The Wanderers would advance to the grand final after defeating the Brisbane Roar in a packed home semi-final.

In their way of completing a first season double were the perennial bridesmaids – the Central Coast Mariners.

Known for falling short in the big dance – the Mariners made no such mistake this time around and spoiled this Wanderers party to lift their first championship.

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  1. Central Coast Mariners 2007/08

As controversial as the 2008 A-League grand final was – for the Mariners it was the one which got away.

After finishing the 2007/08 on top of the table the Mariners qualified for their third grand final in two years.

While Mariners fans would blame the referee for preventing the match to go into stoppage time – the result hurt for the home side who had won the premiers plate and had been the best team all season.

  1. Melbourne City 2015/16

Forever the league’s underachievers – the closest Melbourne City came to winning a premiers plate came in season 2015/16.

Sitting on top of the table at Round 25 – City would lose their last two matches to drop down to fourth – five points shy of first.

This side boasted stars like Aaron Mooy, Bruno Fornaroli and Thomas Sorensen but only made it as far as the semi-finals where they were dismantled by the eventual Champions Adelaide United.

City would go on to win the FFA Cup two seasons later but league silverware eludes them still.

 

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