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Second tier the ticket to football’s future success

Vince Rugari Columnist

By Vince Rugari, Vince Rugari is a Roar Expert

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    David Gallop and the FFA need to start talking to the fans directly, rather than through the media. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

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    Today could well be remembered as one of the most important days in recent Australian football history.

    David Gallop will this morning make a “significant announcement” regarding the outcomes of the recent National Competition Review, which set out to clean up all of Australia’s state leagues.

    The fact that the FFA CEO is going to be the face of this announcement means it is a big one – and a big one has been in the pipeline for a while.

    We can safely assume what it is.

    The ‘Australian Premier League’ project has been going on quietly behind the scenes for some time now – most prominently in Queensland, the state which has effectively served as a test case.

    The idea is to have a new APL division in each state to replace the current leagues that hitherto have differed wildly in terms of quality in all senses – coaching, administration, facilities, governance and of course, the football itself.

    It might not even be called the Australian Premier League – the grapevine suggests securing the rights to this name has been a tougher task than what the FFA had anticipated.

    But the name is not important. It is only window-dressing for a set of nationwide reforms that will give football the kind of underpinning that the AFL and NRL both enjoy, but the round ball game never has.

    All states will come under the new banner by 2014, starting with Queensland, South Australia, the ACT, New South Wales and Tasmania this year.

    The only reason why Victoria, Western Australia and northern NSW are 12 months behind is because of existing sponsorship arrangements, which will soon expire.

    When the curtain was last peeled back on the outcomes of the NCR back in October last year, Football Queensland told reporters – including this one – that a national naming rights sponsor was on the way and that the FFA would play a major hand in upping the publicity surrounding state-level football.

    That was at the launch of the APL’s Queensland conference, when FQ chief Geoff Foster turned what was a good news story into a confusing one by claiming FFA was under enormous pressure from the Asian Football Confederation to create a national second division with promotion and relegation by 2022.

    Is the whole APL/NCR thing a step towards that? Probably, eventually. But that’s a long ways down a road that needs to be walked very carefully – and it’s not even close to the most exciting thing about all this.

    For me, it’s going to do two things that have been desperately needed for years – to bring the proud old NSL sides back into the ‘new football’ fold, and to create a genuine pathway below the A-League for players, coaches and even future expansion bids.

    It’s huge. Using Queensland – my beloved adopted state – as an example, former NSL clubs like the Brisbane Strikers will be pitted against former A-League clubs like Northern Fury and A-League aspirants Sunshine Coast Fire.

    In NSW there’s Marconi and Sydney Olympic, in Victoria there’s South Melbourne and the Knights.

    All of these clubs, past, present and future, in each and every state, will see their paths intersect in an annual play-off cup between each state champion.

    What intrigue, what drama. They can relive past rivalries on a brand new stage or build fresh dynasties as they’re embraced as part of a broader national strategy.

    Then, the players. Of course, this is primarily for them – these higher-level competitions are being introduced to increase the opportunities for elite young players to play senior, first-team football.

    They will all be guided by better coaches – perhaps ones keen to climb up to the A-League like Marconi’s Jean Paul de Marigny or new gaffers just starting out like the recently-retired Kasey Wehrman at the Western Pride in Ipswich, just outside of Brisbane.

    This is the level for them to earn their stripes, in a competition where new minimum standards will be set for coaches for the first time ever.

    The cherry on top is the fact that in the winter time, we’re going to have some football that at long last will be in some sort of national context.

    Eventually the FFA Cup will arrive. For now, though, Australian football gets the structure below the surface it has needed.

    It’s been a long time coming.

    Vince Rugari
    Vince Rugari

    Vince Rugari is an Adelaide-born journalist who cut his teeth on the sporting graveyard of the Gold Coast. He fancies the round ball and the Sherrin, and used to be a handy leg-spin bowler before injury curtailed a baggy green push. A Port Adelaide fan by birth, he now is a sports reporter for Australian Associate Press

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    The Crowd Says (188)

    • Columnist

      February 13th 2013 @ 6:38am
      Joe Gorman said | February 13th 2013 @ 6:38am | ! Report

      an important article Vince. Interesting choice of name, the APL was proposed by the players union in late 2002 as an alternative to the NSL. Personally I wish the FFA had used it instead of the A-League

      • February 13th 2013 @ 8:11am
        Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Joe, do you mean the terminology? APL instead of A-League. I’m neither one way or the other. As Glory the name grew on me so has the label A-League.

        • Columnist

          February 13th 2013 @ 8:16am
          Joe Gorman said | February 13th 2013 @ 8:16am | ! Report

          yep, just the label

          • February 13th 2013 @ 8:19am
            Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 8:19am | ! Report

            Might have lead to confusion if we started talking about ‘the’ Premier League. Which one? The Scottish, the English or the Australian one?

            I’m cool with A-League now; it fits in with the Asian way of doing things. Makes it easy to eventually add a second division if needed as the A2-League

            • Columnist

              February 13th 2013 @ 8:32am
              Vince Rugari said | February 13th 2013 @ 8:32am | ! Report

              I think knowing the propensity of Australians to shorten everything in language, we would have simply called it the APL – like AFL and NRL.

            • February 13th 2013 @ 8:48am
              AGO74 said | February 13th 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

              I liked the name A-League from the get go. Not only does it fit in with our Asian neighbours league names but although we all know that the A in A-league is for Australia, the fact that it is an “A” has positive overtones to it.

              • February 13th 2013 @ 9:10am
                Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:10am | ! Report

                Vince you’re probably right, but the name we have currently is gaining brand awareness and I think it’s good as it is we’re unlikely to ever see a change, excepting major sponsor in the future (Didn’t Hyundai just re-sign for another 5 years?
                If as you write: the grapevine suggests securing the rights to this name has been a tougher task than what the FFA had anticipated.
                Perhaps the FFA had comercial and legal reasons for going with the ‘A-League’.

              • February 13th 2013 @ 9:26am
                whiskeymac said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:26am | ! Report

                agree AGO74.

              • February 13th 2013 @ 9:58am
                Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:58am | ! Report

                The [Illawarra] Mercury understands the original FFA plan involved branding the cup competition as the ‘‘Australian Premier League’’, however, the move hit a road block because the naming rights are held by lawn bowls. LOL Damned obstructionist other codes 😉 Always telling us what we can and can’t call our sport!
                Source:
                http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/1296664/wolves-could-move-into-a-league-under-new-changes/?cs=12
                Love to see the Wolves again. This is where Nathan of Perth cringes as I mention ‘that’ NSL GF win in 2000:)
                I can see the NPL being a test bed for future HAL teams…thus giving the ‘promotion’ that the ASL has given MLS in recent years (Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Montreal and perhaps NY Cosmos & Orlando as teams 20&21) relegation would be disastrous for any current HAL team…. I can’t see it happening in my lifetime.

              • February 13th 2013 @ 10:18am
                Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 10:18am | ! Report

                ^^for my comment above ASL is missing the ‘N’ to make it NASL.

            • Roar Guru

              February 13th 2013 @ 9:24am
              Fussball ist unser leben said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:24am | ! Report

              I’m hearing that the FFA will announce that the top football leagues in each State/Territory will be branded:

              The National Premier League.

              Sounds good to me – it retains the “Premier League” term, which is already used by many of the State/Territories for their elite football competition, and “National” provides the uniform branding that demonstrates this is now the legitimate 2nd tier of AUS football.

              • February 13th 2013 @ 9:32am
                Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:32am | ! Report

                [sponsor name] ‘National Premier League’ sounds good to me. What time is the Presser?11am Eastern?

              • February 13th 2013 @ 1:04pm
                Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                I think one important thing has been overlooked here and that is More Football!! I expect at least the NPL playoffs from Semis onwards would likely be broadcast by Fox.. Could lead to a marquee event ‘season opener’, the previous season HAL champions v NPL champions in a Charity Shield type event.

                Our HAL off-season is already terribly long, as the NPL gets to its business end, it will be something for those who don’t yet follow football below HAL level to take in.

                I wonder if the NPL conferences will do away with their individual finals series and after crowning a winner first-past-the-post then sending the top x-teams through to the NPL playoff tournament.

              • February 13th 2013 @ 1:55pm
                Bondy said | February 13th 2013 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

                Well said Kasey, and also we have to get more football content on Fox. I’ll tell you recently my fox service broke down and had to have a replacement brought in at their expense of course and watched a weekend of HAL games on the net mild buffering but no major concerns,thats the only reason I have cable and if their football content doesn’t improve on Fox “more content more shows” if they dont i’ll be close to 800 bucks better off per annum without them and I’ll watch the HAL and National teams on my notebook.

              • February 13th 2013 @ 11:54pm
                Soccerlogic said | February 13th 2013 @ 11:54pm | ! Report

                @Kasey I often hear a lot of rubbish on these comment pages but the idea of a Community match featuring NPL champions vs A-League champions has restored my faith in them. Absolutely Fantastic idea!!! A great way to herald the beginning of a new A-League season and assert football’s commitment to the grass-roots. Genius!!!!

    • Roar Guru

      February 13th 2013 @ 7:34am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | February 13th 2013 @ 7:34am | ! Report

      Thanks for this information, Vince.

      I think you’re spot on when you wrote: “Today could well be remembered as one of the most important days in recent Australian football history.”

      Football in AUS is ticking all the right boxes – 12 months of strong exposure for domestic football is a massive step in the right direction and every person – at any level – who is actively involved with AUS football, will now truly believe “we are football”.

      • February 13th 2013 @ 8:06am
        Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 8:06am | ! Report

        When the call went out yesterday afternoon that the FFA had announced a presser for today my initial surge of excitement was tempered by the recollection of times past where the delta between what the FFA considered an ‘important announcement’ and what we the fans considered an ’important announcement’ was vast.

        However as rumours began circulating that the presser was dealing with the NCR and the APL(2nd tier rejuvenation) I put dreams of the FFA Cup announcement on hold and began to consider the APL.
        I still think pro/rel as we understand it from European leagues is unachievable in my lifetime, but this is an important step in that direction and of course of connecting the various levels of football in this country so that for once we are all pulling in the same direction – the betterment of the game in Australia. Exciting times ahead for football and hopefully this continues the upward trajectory of the game beyond what has been achieved by just the A-League.

    • February 13th 2013 @ 8:44am
      AGO74 said | February 13th 2013 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      If true, it is a very exciting development. This will benefit the A-League greatly in that it should enable more players currently stuck in the State League mixer the opportunity to shine and graduate to A-League ranks a la Jedinak and Og-monster.

      Exciting times for football.

      • February 13th 2013 @ 10:38am
        Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        Exciting times indeed AGO74:
        Not just today’s announcement but the announcement that FFA has taken on board a Sydney-born football executive from MLS, Russell Sargeant to become the A-League’s Operations General Manager was made yesterday, we have a great deal to learn in this country on customer relations and fan engagement, this is an area the Americans excel in and I think it bodes well for the future of fan engagement in our sport that FFA have taken this step.
        Sargeant will commence his role in March. http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/news/1140558/

    • Roar Guru

      February 13th 2013 @ 9:08am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:08am | ! Report

      Last night, the CEO of the FFA, the CEO of the A-League & Mark Bosnich led a Football Fan Forum in Sydney.

      During the evening, David Gallop had this to say about a future FFA Cup: “It’s something being worked on, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”

      • February 13th 2013 @ 10:39am
        Dons83 said | February 13th 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

        Nice to see a much needed cup ompetiion coming a step closer

        Seem to remember that Ben Buckley stated that there would be a cup compettion this year.

        Another bare faced lie from the former CEO?

        • February 13th 2013 @ 10:42am
          Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          It’s not a lie if he really thought it would be in place by now, perhaps he was just overly optimistic? The FFA Cup is very important…I like the idea of making 100% sure the ship will float before flooding the dry-dock. FFA will not get a mulligan if they screw the pooch on it. And football fans are known for their quick forgiveness of mistakes by Head Office.

      • February 13th 2013 @ 11:36am
        Bondy said | February 13th 2013 @ 11:36am | ! Report

        Fussball,

        I cant see this working,no sport in this country is big enough for promo /rele and as kellet mentioned yesterday how are fans going to accept being relegated out of the HAL say a Mariners or Glory?, that would go down like a lead baloon.

        Celtic copped in the neck this morning.

        • Roar Guru

          February 13th 2013 @ 12:01pm
          Fussball ist unser leben said | February 13th 2013 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

          Bondy

          It will work as it does all over the world. When Leeds United gets relegated, their core of loyal fans follows them for years in the lower leagues.

          I follow MVFC & I will continue to follow MVFC even if they get relegated to the National Premier League (VIC) or further down to the State leagues.

          I’m NOT simply a theatre-watcher, who just wants to watch good football.

          I want to watch my team playing each week.

          It doesn’t mean I won’t follow A-league, if MVFC gets relegated – heck, this morning I got up to watch a team from Glasgow playing a team from Torino, and thoroughly enjoyed the match.

          • February 13th 2013 @ 12:21pm
            Nathan of Perth said | February 13th 2013 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

            Yep, if I have to go watch Glory along the fence at bloody Alfred Skeet Reserve in the middle of nowhere, then I will go watch Glory at Alfred Skeet Reserve. I’m a Shed Boy, not an A-League lad!

            Would be good to expand the comp such that a few state league teams are brought in before anyone gets sent back. Would most likely be those teams bouncing up and down rather than the A-League teams.

            And as someone pointed out on 442, if you come dead-last in a league like this and then lose a play-off battle against a semi-professional team with your league spot on the line … well, you don’t really deserve to be in the league anyway. (Well aware this could have been a couple of Perth Glory for this year).

          • February 13th 2013 @ 12:26pm
            nordster said | February 13th 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

            Its a good point on what makes fans hold on to their team through relegation. The ability to hold people will apply even more so if the new entrants from second tier are geared toward new areas over just piling a bunch of melbourne or sydney teams in there. Which adds to the distinct areas being catered to in addiion to the existing 10 (or 9?) rather than adding competition in those catchments. So if a Brisbane team goes down, they wont be replaced and supplanted by another Brisbane team. If the only national level football team in your area goes down, people follow.

            So i hope these new NPL state leagues will not just become capital city leagues as the regional areas need testing out.

        • February 13th 2013 @ 1:08pm
          Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

          Celtic copped in the neck this morning.

          No Rogic = No Celtic??
          I believe he missed out on the UEFA player registration deadline so can’t even get on in the return leg in Turin:(

          • February 13th 2013 @ 1:58pm
            Bondy said | February 13th 2013 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

            Kasey, I looked for Tommy on the team sheets this morning “no joy”, he’ll be there for the second leg,they have nothing to lose now.

    • February 13th 2013 @ 9:18am
      c said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      i hope your right your synopsis for the outcomes for the round ball game should this be todays announcement sounds very positive

    • February 13th 2013 @ 9:22am
      Bunny Colvin said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:22am | ! Report

      In theory the whole project sounds exciting, but when you really think about it it is akin to bringing back South Melbourne, University and Fitzroy into the AFL.

      The problem the old NSL sides have is they were essentially new Australian’s social clubs. Last I looked there were not that many Italian, Greek or Croatian migrants coming to Oz.

      They should just tell the AFC, we will have the state leagues as the 2nd tier, but no promotion and relegation. Keep them as feeder competitions which would work more effectively.

      • February 13th 2013 @ 9:26am
        Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        What makes you think we(Australia) are in any position to dictate to AFC what we will and wont do?

        • February 13th 2013 @ 9:35am
          Towser said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          Were not.

          • February 13th 2013 @ 9:36am
            Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:36am | ! Report

            as we so brutally saw during the AFC-CL dealings earlier this season.

      • Roar Guru

        February 13th 2013 @ 9:33am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        “They should just tell the AFC, we will have the state leagues as the 2nd tier, but no promotion and relegation”

        But, the AUS football community wants the State Leagues to be involved in the future & we want a 2nd tier competition with promotion & relegation.

        The FFA has gone through the process of liaising with the AUS football family and this is the blueprint for that has been chosen for the future domestic football scene in AUS.

        This has been endorsed by the State Federations and, I’m sure, it will be embraced by the old NSL fans, who have shunned the A-League.

        • February 13th 2013 @ 10:24am
          Kasey said | February 13th 2013 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          Promotion from NPL to HAL (if the right criteria are met – regarding finances, stadium etc) but ‘still working towards relegation’ might be something the AFC could accept, especially if progress was shown in the other areas that AFC deemed deficient, (FFA& HAL as separate entities, FFA Cup…etc)
          I hope as part of the Review, the amount of compensation delivered to NPL teams if their players are picked up by HAL teams is addressed.

        • February 13th 2013 @ 10:33am
          Pete #205 said | February 13th 2013 @ 10:33am | ! Report

          Um, has anyone thought that maybe, the promotion/relegation is not to/from the A-League, but to/from an FFA cup style competition? That way, the A-League is intact as the premier competition, but it still gives the second tier a chance to “mix it with the big boys”.

          • Roar Guru

            February 13th 2013 @ 10:46am
            Fussball ist unser leben said | February 13th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

            @Pete #205

            We’ll know details later this morning but, this is what I’ve read so far:

            1. there will be 8 State/Territory leagues under the umbrella of “National Premier League”

            2. at the end of the season (winter competition), the 8 winners meet in a knock-out competition to decide the Champions of the National Premier League

            3. This will start happening from the end of the 2014 season

            4. Within 5 years, the Champion of the National Premier League will engage in a play-off with the bottom-placed A-League team: the winner plays the following season in the A-League; the loser goes back to their respective State/Territory National Premier League.

            • February 13th 2013 @ 11:44am
              Brian said | February 13th 2013 @ 11:44am | ! Report

              That sounds good to me. Dare I say another way of placating the AFC is that the playoff tie be over 2 legs such that no club can simply fall of the HAL. You will have to first come last and then lose over 2 legs to an amatuer side.We could even play the 2nd leg at the HAL side’s home ground. Remember also that the “NPL” winner will presumably be crowned around Oct/Nov and the HAL last place in March, so the playoff would have to be in April or May. Long after the State League Champs were in form.

              In other words we coud have relegation yet ensuring you would have to be a real basket case to fall out of the HAL.

            • Roar Guru

              February 13th 2013 @ 12:53pm
              apaway said | February 13th 2013 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

              Fuss

              How would this work with Wellington Phoenix?

              • Roar Guru

                February 13th 2013 @ 1:01pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | February 13th 2013 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

                Not sure how it will work for the NIX, but I also am not sure if an NZL club is part of the long-term plan for AUS (or NZL) football.

                For the moment, the NIX are important to fill the numbers, but I honestly don’t see any value in having an NZL club playing in the A-League in 10 years time.

        • February 13th 2013 @ 12:20pm
          Realfootball said | February 13th 2013 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

          Be careful with the “we”. You speak for yourself, Fussball, not the entire football community with its diverse range of views.

          Personally, in the Australian context I see promotion/relegation system as neither practicable, nor particularly desirable, and I am sure that there would be others who agree with me.

          • February 13th 2013 @ 1:03pm
            Dillan said | February 13th 2013 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

            +1

            • Roar Guru

              February 14th 2013 @ 5:29pm
              Griffo said | February 14th 2013 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

              +2

          • Roar Guru

            February 13th 2013 @ 1:37pm
            langou said | February 13th 2013 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

            I with you Realfootball

          • February 13th 2013 @ 1:50pm
            Nathan of Perth said | February 13th 2013 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

            Yes, but they are all wrong 🙂

            • February 13th 2013 @ 4:53pm
              MV Dave said | February 13th 2013 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

              Yep with you on that one RealFootball…can’t see P/R working in Oz for a very long time. Relegation from the HAL would be the death of most, if not all HAL teams due to their very young existence. If the time frame was 20 years then there may be a chance but just can’t see it working at the moment.
              The closest league to HAL in terms of domestic situation and maturity is the MLS. They have 10 years on HAL and still no P/R.

              • February 15th 2013 @ 8:26am
                Kasey said | February 15th 2013 @ 8:26am | ! Report

                I am an optimist and have been wracking my brains to figure out how Pro/Rel could work in this country. the fact that the only sporting competition that I can think of that successfully employs it is the Amateur Aussie Rules footy leagues in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne shows that the concept isn’t totally alien to Australian sport, but in each instance, the furthest distance travelled would be from the extreme North of Adelaide to the extreme south(Adelaide being a very large city – by footprint ~ 90kmNorth to South – we are spread out quite well) Even the lower leagues of the Ammos split Adelaide into North & South.
                I just can’t imagine how Football would manage the logistics of a HAL club being relegated, but ensuring that a major market (Perth, Brisbane or Adelaide?) isn’t unrepresented in the top flight. Our league is still too immature to risk a major market being unrepresented. I think the thoughts already mentioned where Promotion to HAL from NPL for clubs willing and able to take the big step up occurs but no relegation to build a top flight based on merit is what we are likely to see in the next 10 years.

              • Roar Guru

                February 15th 2013 @ 8:36am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | February 15th 2013 @ 8:36am | ! Report

                @ Kasey

                Don’t worry yourself about P/R. The FFA have a dedicated team, who will crunch the numbers & devise a strategy.

                According to the CEO, who is far better acquainted with the data than any of us, P/R could occur in 5 years.

                Football is evolving. Let’s just enjoy the good times, rather than jump at shadows.

          • February 13th 2013 @ 5:20pm
            Matt F said | February 13th 2013 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

            With you here Realfootball. I love the FFA Cup idea but there are a significant number of issues that stand in the way of P/R in Australia and they’ll take a fair while to be addressed, if they ever are.

          • February 13th 2013 @ 6:02pm
            Titus said | February 13th 2013 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

            The thing I can’t get my head around is, do all those fans who had an old NSL team and are in an area that is better, more locally represented by another team, now stop following their A-league team and start following their local team, in the hopes they can make the top flight?

            This will potentially see a-league clubs in the cities halve their numbers. It will strengthen the lower tiers but weaken the HAL clubs. SFC will essentially represent Sydney City. Western Sydney Wanderers will now represent Parramatta. I like the idea of strengthening the grassroots clubs, improving development etc but I don’t want the quality at the top to go backwards. If SFC is getting 7 000 to games, then they can’t afford Del Piero, if WSW is getting 4 000 to games they can’t afford Shinji Ono.

            • February 13th 2013 @ 10:16pm
              Evan Askew said | February 13th 2013 @ 10:16pm | ! Report

              Thats an excelent question Titus. SPeaking for myself as a roar supporter I will continue to follow the Roar over the Strikers or Brisbane City in the unlikely event that they get promoted into the A league and compete with Brisbane ROar. Despite the fact that the food at Brisbane CIty clubhouse is probably 10 times better that the food at Suncorp stadium. I’ve followed 3 clubs including roar and I am determined to stick with them and not change again. And it is my guess that the majority of people from Brisbane would feel the same. No one goes to Strikers games anymore, or at least that was the case in 2009 when I stopped going. I don’t know about Brisbane City, but I’ve known a few people from City who followed Strikers in the NSL and I guess this is because they recognise that they were too small a club to compete on the national level. In Sydney and Melbourne I believe the introduction of ex NSL clubs will reduce the support of Victory, Heart, Sydney FC & Western Sydney. Or alternatively the supporters of the ex NSL clubs are now rusted onto the A league clubs. Or maybe it is a bit of both? Who know, but it is a factor to consider. Yet I don’t think a second division can exist without some of the ex NSL clubs.

      • February 13th 2013 @ 9:38am
        AGO74 said | February 13th 2013 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        Firstly – unlike South Melbourne and Fitzroy, the likes of South Melbourne and Marconi have never gone away. They still play today. Secondly – by becoming a part of an Australian Premier League that they aren’t gaining re-entry to the A-League. I’d be very surprised if ex-NSL clubs are not in favour of what is proposed.

      • February 13th 2013 @ 11:56pm
        Adrian said | February 13th 2013 @ 11:56pm | ! Report

        100% right Bunny Colvin..South Korea don’t have promotion and relegation..so why should we

        • February 14th 2013 @ 1:09am
          Andyroo said | February 14th 2013 @ 1:09am | ! Report

          South Korea do have Promotion and relegation.

          Relegation was brought in last year to set up the new 2nd division which starts this year.

          They will have promotion and relegation this year.

          Even though its a small country with 50m and a LOT of corporate money involved they still had a lot of trouble bringing it in and there are real fears that some of the owners will wind up their teams if they are relegated.

          If that happens it could be a pretty serious warning to the FFA.

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