THE WESTERN Bulldogs stand as a major roadblock to Melbourne Victory hosting the A-League Grand Final in Melbourne.
The A-League's highest finishers have the right to host the Grand Final but fixture confusion on May 17, the date of the decider, has led to an impasse between the two codes.
As Wednesday night's win over Brisbane Roar moved Melbourne Victory closer to the Premier's Plate, what was once hypothetical to Football Federation Australia bosses now looms as a very real problem.
With alternative Melbourne venues deemed unsuitable, it's Etihad Stadium or bust for the showpiece match, and the Bulldogs aren't budging.
The Dogs are scheduled to play Fremantle at the Docklands venue on the same day, and president Peter Gordon is not interested in moving the fixture to Geelong's vacant Simonds Stadium as mooted.
"We're not moving aside for soccer," Gordon told Melbourne radio station SEN.
"What's prime in our mind is four premiership points.
"It's a home game for us and it's already been fixtured, it's a done deal, that's where we want to play it and that's where it will be played."
Other Melbourne venues have all but been ruled out.
Victory's second home ground, AAMI Park, is seen as too small, and the MCG is understood to have been ruled out by the AFL.
Without a resolution, FFA has made clear the Grand Final will be played interstate.
Melbourne Victory chief executive Ian Robson hopes a deal can be struck.
"There are always a number of moving pieces and parts and how that can all work together has the potential to deliver a solution," he said.
Robson said he was leaving the deal-making to FFA chief executive David Gallop and AFL boss Gillon McLachlan.
"I haven't spoken to Gill," he said.
"I have spoken to David Gallop ... and maybe David Gallop will speak to Gill."