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Football Federation Australia has poured cold water on an ambitious proposal for a national second division, saying it has not been "tested against reality".
Source:
AAP
27 Oct 2017 - 4:00 PM  UPDATED 27 Oct 2017 - 4:01 PM

The Association of Australian Football Clubs - a recently-formed lobby group of state-league clubs - released their blueprint on Friday for a new second-tier competition, dubbed 'The Championship'.

The competition would begin in season 2019-20 aligned with the A-League in the summer months and with promotion to and relegation from the top tier to be phased in by 2025.

It would include between 12 to 16 clubs, mostly drawn from the current NPL ranks, with a forecast annual budget of $2.5 million per team and annual licence fee of $150,000.

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The AAFC also wants the winner of 'The Championship' to be granted a place in the AFC Champions League.

AAFC chairman Rabieh Krayem said a second division would help provide greater opportunities for young Australian players and, ultimately, grow the sport.

"This isn't about a breakaway organisation or league," Krayem said.

"The Championship will contribute to making the football ecosystem bigger and better for everyone and lay the groundwork for helping players, clubs and the code reach its extraordinary potential."

However the plans are largely predicated on endorsement from FFA and a spokesperson from the governing body suggested AAFC's ideas were not realistic.

"We have been sent today's media release by AAFC but we have not yet been engaged by them in any meaningful way about their proposal," the spokesperson said in a statement provided to AAP.

"It is great for people to have aspirations and because of the things that happen globally in football those aspirations are often very big.

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"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.

"Any second division national competition would need to be sanctioned by FFA and its Member Federations and have broad support, including from 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."

The spokesperson said FFA's first priorities were the establishment of a new operating model for the A-League, and then expansion to 12 teams.