Sage pointed to former A-League expansion clubs Gold Coast United and the North Queensland Fury - both clubs which are now defunct - as proof the current model doesn't work.
"The way I’d do it, I would not pay a licence fee, the FFA want a license fee so they bank $10 million, then the club runs off on it's own," Sage said.
"But look what happened to the Gold Coast and North Queensland and they're not the only clubs to have gone broke.
"I’d say take a $5 million deposit as a guarantee then they just don't receive distributions until new TV rights deal in 2021.
"That way they can fund themselves and it protects existing clubs because TV money doesn't go up until 2021."
On top of the licence fee it will cost an expansion team between $10 and $13 million annually to operate, which means shortlisted clubs will need access to over $20 million to be seriously considered by the FFA.
The Canberra bid team have been meeting with potential investors for months and will soon sit down with the territory and federal governments.
Sage said the only way clubs make a profit is by selling their best players to cashed-up teams overseas.
"I can run Perth comfortably on $12 million per annum and it's up to me to receive income to match that, but I've never been able to do that and I'm out of pocked about $2 million a year," Sage sage.
"One or two clubs have made a profit but that always includes a player sale and some of bigger [A-League] clubs have had good sales.
"Melbourne City sold [Aaron] Mooy for a big amount of money. [Daniel] Arzani will get Melbourne Victory a lot of money.
"But if you exclude that sort of things then no A-League club has ever made a profit."