Football Federation Australia (FFA) has received today’s media release by AAFC regarding plans for a national second division but is yet to have been engaged by the organisation about their proposal.
FFA chief executive David Gallop said he looked forward to listening to and understanding what is proposed.
“We well recognise the important pathway contribution and the significant history of many of our NPL clubs and will happily consider any viable plans that come through our door. It is great for people in the game to have aspirations and because of the things that happen globally in football those aspirations are often very big,” he said.
“However aspirations have to be tested against the reality of the local landscape and that unfortunately comes back to available funding and the impact on all the other parts of the game.”
Mr Gallop said any second division national competition would need to be sanctioned by FFA, Member Federations would need to be across the proposal and it would need broad support, including from Hyundai A-League clubs, to succeed.
More importantly it would have to be financially viable and sustainable, particularly as it would involve substantial central operating costs.
“FFA is working on various strategies to increase the commercial returns from football but at present all available funding is committed the Hyundai A-League/Westfield W-League, grassroots, player development and national teams. It is no secret that most of those areas are themselves crying out for more money.”
FFA has worked with its Member Federations to strengthen the second tier of football over a number of years initially though the national competition review which lead to the evolution of state league competitions into the National Premier Leagues (NPL).
FFA developed a national brand for the NPL and introduced a Final Series component. Simultaneously, the FFA Cup was established to better connect the various tiers of football in Australia
“FFA’s first priorities remain the establishment of a new operating model for the Hyundai A-League and the expansion of that competition but certainly at the right time a second tier is part of our own thinking about the future of the game,” Mr Gallop said.