Saturday, 23 May 2009

Get stuffed NSW Football Federation

FFA are drawing up plans for a Second Division. Read the SMH article below.

The move into Asia means if we want more teams in the Asian Champions League we need a second division.

So an A-League team for Canberra AND a second division team, maybe Belconnen United or Canberra Vikings, or Canberra FC, although ground, shirt and dressing room issues remain there in the eyes of the FFA and their brand.

And NSW Premier League we won't need you and you can wallow with your own State League...and of course your teams will have to come to Canberra to play in the Second Division.....ha ha!

And no we ain't having a Second Division team INSTEAD of an A-League team. Only a fool would agree to that. It's as well as!

"OLD soccer" may finally be embraced by "new football" after Football Federation Australia this week set up a task force to investigate the viability of establishing a national second-tier competition within two years.

In a move which will thrill state league clubs around the country - many of them survivors from the old NSL- the governing body is ready to engage second-tier football for the first time since the A-League was established in 2005. A national second division, and the less likely possibility of promotion and relegation, are among the key issues to be discussed.

Former FFA chief executive John O'Neill famously coined the catchphrase "old soccer versus new football" when describing the future direction of the game - a description which caused huge resentment in the game's ethnic heartlands.

But since Ben Buckley replaced O'Neill in late 2006, the FFA has gradually worked at repairing those broken relationships, and this week's move to re-engage the various state leagues represents a huge, symbolic, breakthrough.

An eight-man task force - including state federation and state league representatives as well as the new head of the A-League, Archie Fraser - has been established to investigate second-tier football, and where it can fit into the development pathway. Despite being marginalised, state league clubs have continued to develop talent for the A-League, although the transfer cap of just $3,000 has been one of many sources of discontent.

Key issues to be investigated by the task force include:

* The viability of an interstate competition (national second division)

* The relationship between the state leagues and the A-League (promotion and relegation)

* The relevance of the state leagues to the player development pathway and the various state institutes and the AIS

* The future timing of state league seasons, in particular the effects of switching to summer

* Introducing a licensing system for state league clubs

* Transfer and loan regulations between state league clubs and the A-League clubs.

A key motivation behind the FFA's renewed interest in the future of second-tier football is the desire to gain more berths in the Asian Champions League. Currently, Australia has just two ACL spots per season, but the FFA hopes to earn extra places when the entry requirements are reviewed in 2012. Two of the requirements the FFA has failed to meet in the past are the existence of a national Cup competition, and a second-tier league with a system of promotion/relegation.

While the latter seems unlikely for the foreseeable future - even if a national second division is established - an FFA Cup has already been approved in principle by the FFA, which is now trying to sell the competition to sponsors and broadcasters.

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