The A-League’s promotion-relegation solution needs to be as unique as Australia

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    With so many bids coming in for the two A-League licences on offer for the 2019-20 season, it is worth considering accepting all that are financially sound and then creating a second tier.

    We need at least 16 teams for two tiers to work: eight teams in Division A and eight more in Division B.

    The team that finishes on top in Division A receives the premiers plate, and the top four play off to become champions.

    Meanwhile, the bottom two are relegated.

    The top team in Division B receives automatic promotion, then there’s a final to get the second promotion spot, which sees second play the winner of a playoff between teams three and four.

    We would have each team across the two divisions play each other twice, so it isn’t boring and financially it won’t affect the Division B clubs as much if they were playing just fellow B clubs.

    For example, if Sydney FC get relegated, they can still play the Wanderers – in Division A – twice.

    What is the point you ask of having two divisions if everyone plays everyone anyway? Well, it’s more prestigious to be in Division A but also, the ultimate Australian champion (and ACL qualifiers) can only come from the top flight.

    Australia is unique, so we need creativity – everyone playing each other in the one division on four ocassions is way too much. Also, we don’t have enough money or teams to have two divisions of say 12 or 14 teams each.

    Nor can we afford to have current NPL teams in this process, no matter how great their history is – how can the likes of North Geelong or Apia Leichhardt afford to pay wages that would compete with the like of Melbourne City or Western Sydney Wanderers?

    With NPL clubs in this two-tiered system, it would be way too predictable who would be relegated and promoted, which defeats the purpose of the exercise.

    This proposed model seems foolish but we need to understand the Australian sporting and commercial landscape is different to other countries. We are not England or Spain.

    Food for thought!

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    The Crowd Says (53)

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    • 3:56pm
      Janakan said | 3:56pm | ! Report

      If we feel no point in everyone playing each other twice maybe teams in the same division play each other 3 times and someone in the other division once? That could be a point of differentiation

    • 11:35am
      deathg said | 11:35am | ! Report

      I would:
      1 – get rid of the NPL National finals and just give the State NPL a qualifying spot each directly into the league making it a (18-20) team comp
      2 – A top (10 -12) final series with all teams that do not make the finals cut get relegated

    • 11:46pm
      Squizz said | 11:46pm | ! Report

      My formula would be simple. Forget the NPL clubs as a general rule for this expansion. They are low hanging fruit that can be picked up later (as long as it is not too much later).

      1) Get to 16 teams as soon possible in the HAL – ideally 2019/2020.

      I would take Brisbane, Canberra, Dandenong, Hobart, SMFC, Wollongong

      2) Establish two Division 2 conferences – Northern and Southern with failed HAL bids and NPL teams. These will be a combination of fully professional and semi-professional operations depending on the strength of the clubs.

      a) Northern – NSW 8 teams, QLD 5 teams and Darwin

      b) Southern – Vic 8 teams, SA 3 teams, WA 2 teams and Launceston

      3) Establish criteria for promotion. i.e. Northern Fury play at a 4000 seat reserve. This is fine in the QLD NPL and probably in my proposed Northern conference. However, one criteria might be that teams have a MOU in place with an alternate stadium before the start of the season that if they are promoted they have access to that alternate stadium of at least 10,000 capacity for higher drawing matches. The criteria for promotion must be met before the start of the season.

      4) Promotion/relegation to the HAL and back to the state NPLs to begin at the end of the 2022/2023.

      a) Northern winners and runners-up to play Southern winners and runners-up to determine two possible promotions with playoffs against the bottom 2 HAL teams..

    • 8:30pm
      shirtpants said | 8:30pm | ! Report

      I dont like the idea of this but im all for the outside the box thinking!

      As others have mentioned regarding conferences – i love the idea and it’ll make the league far more financially viable.

    • 5:48pm
      Mark Roth said | 5:48pm | ! Report

      If everyone plays everyone else, and twice at that, why shouldn’t the leading “2nd Division” team be named premiers if they earn more points playing the teams “ahead” of them?

      There needs to be a real split or no split…

      • 8:36pm
        Fadida said | 8:36pm | ! Report

        Exactly. Crazy idea

    • 5:06pm
      Worried said | 5:06pm | ! Report

      Plenty of people willing to make assumptions about what will or wont work or who will or wont put up the money.
      The ONLY way to be sure what will work and who will pay is to give them the chance!
      Football is about what happens on the pitch.
      Boardrooms have always caused problems throughout the games history, and should be sidelined as much as possible.
      Tell the Accountants “Put up or Shut up” then let the teams decide who deserves promotion!
      If a New team want to come into the A-League, make them play a season or two in the NPL to prove how good they are, and how much backing they have. Surely waiting one or two years is not a deal breaker!

    • 4:59pm
      Worried said | 4:59pm | ! Report

      You’re pretty good at finding EXCUSES to keep the NPL out of the A-League!
      Who is in or out MUST be decided on the pitch NOT in a Boardroom!
      Any other system is just waiting to fail as the fans wont believe in it!
      The rest of the story is just FANTASY!

    • 2:51pm
      Kangajets said | 2:51pm | ! Report

      I don’t think we should have a second division

      If we ever get 32 teams wealthy enough to compete, then have some conferences like the nfl or nba

      I don’t believe second division is the way to go

    • Roar Pro

      Rafiqul Ameer said | 2:38pm | ! Report

      slightly strange format to say the least.

    • 12:34pm
      Midfielder said | 12:34pm | ! Report

      I have a semi prepared article on the same topic way to much to post here but there is one part of the argument i.e. the “””unique””” aspect its not anywhere near as clear cut as many make out…. for those that say its a barrier they are wrong its our management … for those that say its of no consequence they are have blinkers on.

      I will copy part of what I am writing here …. also where I have ….. it means I have left out parts before and after””””” Australia’s sporting market is finite and relatively small, with a society that is both addicted to all manner of football codes yet also dominated by certain cultural paradigms. This is unlike almost any other country in the world (the US, Ireland and Canada come closest).

      …………money, players, media attention and political interest are split helter skelter across the four codes, combine this with a north vs south split of the two dominant codes, add a dash of ethnic division…….

      ……. no code can sit by without reacting to what others are doing as to do so they would see themselves as less profitable, less and less part of the national sporting culture, and for their relevant vested interests, see a decline in their power, influence, and income. “”””””‘

      • 2:39pm
        Kangajets said | 2:39pm | ! Report


        Where do you sit with a second division and how would fans and clubs like ccm and jets cope with a relegation

        I want expansion in the a league, but I want a competition with lots of rich Sydney and Melbourne teams and no chance for regional teams
        So I’m against pro rel at this stage

        • 3:30pm
          Midfielder said | 3:30pm | ! Report


          I want 16 clubs a second division with 16 clubs and P & R further the competition owned and operated by the clubs.

          I think almost everyone wants this…. where the divisions appear in how soon can we get to this point, and who decides the rules of who the 32 are…. and should we open up a third division…

          For some even questioning the 32 team with P & R should not be introduced next year is to be met with claims you are a Lowy fan boy…. The real question is to get the systems right and set up the pathways and that will take time and smarts …lack of due diligence will lead to everything falling in a heap or a new set of suits to attack…

          • 5:00pm
            Kangajets said | 5:00pm | ! Report

            Do you see ccm folding if they got relegated

            Before the new owner of the jets , I would think relegation would have meant the end of the jets

            I fear that no one wants to spend money to play second division

            I would like 32 teams all up , but divided into conferences of 8 like the NFL , but with
            31 games plus 7 return games against your conference rivals

            Then obviously semi finals etc

            • 5:19pm
              Midfielder said | 5:19pm | ! Report


              Look out for my article if it gets published I sent one in the day after the grand final about the Newcastle media and it was never published … also I get moderated a lot so my coming to this site is but a fraction of what it used to be …

              P & R will work as will a second division but it will require much more work than the just put it in boys think.

              • 5:28pm
                fadida said | 5:28pm | ! Report

                Given the number of atrocious articles I have read in the last few months I had assumed everything was published without scrutiny!’

              • 8:29pm
                shirtpants said | 8:29pm | ! Report

                This seems tongue in cheek but I honestly thought everything got through

              • 8:36pm
                Kangajets said | 8:36pm | ! Report

                I get moderaters on everything

                Must be in the red card list

              • 7:05pm
                Midfielder said | 7:05pm | ! Report


                It blew me away it was not published I honestly think this site from a Football stance has gone backwards over the past 18 months and its lost a lot of excellent posters.

              • 7:46pm
                Kangajets said | 7:46pm | ! Report


                I get moderatered on every comment . That’s why I’m hardly bothered to come on these days .. it all goes back to this author , when he called everyone on here a sook

                It’s noticeable today , that the author didn’t do the name calling thing , maybe the roar moderaters are onto that .

              • 8:31pm
                Fadida said | 8:31pm | ! Report

                Any monkey can bash away on his keyboard and have an incoherent, factually error strewn article designed to mock or criticize the game and get it posted.

                It’s evidently much harder for genuine football lovers to meet the editor’s standard

            • Roar Guru

              Griffo said | 10:51pm | ! Report

              Kanga, I don’t think the Jets would fold. The Fury are evidence of what would likely happen.

              An A2 is a different division to what potentially an amateur tier would be.