FOOTBALL Federation Victoria announced yesterday that it had arranged a meeting with senior Football Federation Australia representatives and a committee representing clubs opposed to the current National Premier League model for mediation.
FFV have said the aim of the meeting was to resolve the current impasse in the establishment of the National Premier Leagues for 2014 and to dodge a Supreme Court hearing.
Victorian NPL applicants will not be allowed to attend the meeting to be held next Tuesday in Melbourne.
The announcement is a glimmer of hope for a Ballarat Red Devils team to compete in a Victorian premier league.
Ballarat Red Devils NPL working party chairman Andrew Burgess said the meeting would be a step forward in the right direction.
“It’s very positive that the FFV and FFA are coming to the table to talk to those clubs opposed to the current model,” he said.
“It’s something that needs to happen for the united football community to come together with an agreed model.
“We see this as a mandatory step to move the NPL forward for 2014, but if it is to occur it needs to be resolved before it goes to the Supreme Court.”
Burgess said he would expect the outcome of the meeting to consider regional club’s requirements.
“Regional consortiums requirements are different to metropolitan teams, so it is important that our needs are taken into account for any model proposed in the future,” Burgess said.
“My understanding is that the regional consortiums around Victoria have not opposed the model.”
An injunction imposed by the Magistrates Court has brought plans for a 2014 NPL season to a stand still, stalling the preparation of established premier league teams and proposed NPL teams.
The committee representing opposed clubs are calling for a redrawing of the NPL criteria to include consistency across all NPL leagues, an improved financial model for clubs and no splitting of clubs junior and senior sides.