The National Premier League (NPL) will take off in Victoria next year as scheduled, Football Federation Australia (FFA) confirmed last Friday.
The announcement came after an agreement was reached between FFV and its clubs on an NPL model to be applied, and agreement to discontinue current proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
FFA CEO David Gallop thanked Football Federation Victoria (FFV) and its member clubs for the far-reaching agreement that sets new standards for elite club football in Victoria.
“FFV and its clubs have worked through many issues and agreed on an NPL model that’s now a benchmark nationally in many areas.
“It is a hugely important reform of the semi-professional tier of Australian football,” Gallop said.
FFV Chairman Nick Monteleone said the NPL would have a positive impact on players, coaches and club development in Victoria.
“We have the opportunity to implement policies that will help our elite players in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, and at the same time help build stronger clubs.”
Speaking on behalf of the clubs, South Melbourne chairman Nick Galatas welcomed the confirmation of the 2014 NPL.
“The clubs have always wanted Victoria to be part of the NPL in 2014 and now we’ll apply for licences, work as quickly as we can to meet the criteria and get on with implementation,” said Galatas.
“The clubs are looking forward to being part of the NPL, which promises to deliver outcomes that are in the best interests of football in Victoria.”
The model to be introduced in Victoria next year includes far-reaching reforms for Victorian football, including NPL clubs to concentrate on elite player development under qualified technical directors and coaches; new regional clubs to apply to join the NPL, allowing young players outside the Melbourne metropolitan area to have access to elite football; a Player Points System (PPS), which acts as an incentive to clubs to develop their own players; and a cap on registration fees for elite juniors.
The formal licence assessment process will begin shortly and will be open to former applicants as well as those FFV clubs that did not participate in the previous process.