PLANS for Ballarat Red Devils to play in a proposed state-based National Premier League next year are in limbo.
A Magistrates Court injunction against Football Federation Victoria has put the formation of a Victorian NPL on hold, until the matter can be heard in the Supreme Court.
Until the injunction is lifted, Ballarat Red Devils’ hopes of establishing an NPL side are in jeopardy.
Dozens of co-signatory clubs of the NPL are seeking changes to the current NPL criteria, resulting in a stalemate between the two parties.
Ballarat Red Devils NPL working party chairman Andrew Burgess said the club was still prepared to plan and establish an NPL model for the region for 2014.
“It’s certainly a frustration that there’s been a hold-up of the implementation of the NPL,” Burgess said.
“But it’s out of our hands and it’s something we can only prepare for when the opportunity comes forward.”
Burgess said the Red Devils were “hamstrung” more so than existing metropolitan premier league teams because appointment of coaches and players would not be possible until a 2014 NPL season was confirmed.
He holds concerns that sponsorship will be an issue if Red Devils play in FFV state league three, after finishing last in FFV state league two this year.
“It’s affecting sponsorship because it’s harder to attract sponsors to a non-NPL club state three club than a club playing in the major league of Victorian football, which is a significant barrier we are facing right now.”
He said that part of the Red Devils NPL recruiting policy would be to bring former players that had gone on to play at a higher level back to the club.
If a 2014 season did not go ahead, Burgess said he was unsure the team’s NPL application would be moved forward to the 2015 season.
“We are hopeful that the time effort and energy spent on this application hasn’t been wasted,” he said.
“The working team spent significant funds to prepare the application and the better part of four months compiling it with no firm date of when we can move forward.”
An FFV spokeswoman said the authority remained committed to launching a 2014 state-based NPL, but could not confirm if it would go ahead.
“We are currently working through our options to make that happen and to resolve the current impasse with the current constraints of the temporary injunction,” she said.