Ballarat City senior player Josh Romein says Football Victoria's decision to remove relegation from senior soccer might level the playing field for clubs that don't pay players.
As clubs struggle with the financial effects of COVID-19, player wages within a number of National Premier League sides might have to be slashed to limit costs.
With relegation scrapped, FV can provide certainty that cash-strapped clubs won't lose their place in Victoria's football hierarchy.
But Romein said clubs like Ballarat City, which didn't pay its players anyway, might benefit if rival clubs aren't able to retain players expecting a pay check.
"It might level the playing field, wages are exaggerated within our game but that's common across every sport," he said.
After finishing at the bottom of the NPL2 ladder in 2019, Ballarat City was set to start fresh in the newly-formed NPL3 competition before the COVID-19.
It might level the playing field, wages are exaggerated within our game but that's common across every sport.Josh Romein
Earlier this week, FV proposed a target date of July 10 to resume play but would be subject to advice from federal and state chief health officers.
Romein said the date, although tentative, provided light at the end of the tunnel for players.
"Having a date set gives everyone a chance to plan and proceed with the preseason and gives you some motivation to get back into it," he said.
Ballarat City had its first formal training session on Monday after the state government permitted group sizes of up to 20 people gather. It was also the first formal session since the resignation of former head coach James Robinson, who stepped down last week.
Romein said the players were sad to see him go.
"He was a great coach and mentor and had a huge influence on the entire group, he said.
"It's a shame it hasn't worked out but all the guys understand this is part of the game and you have to move on and make the best of the situation."
Although the club is assured of its position following the 2020 season, Romein said the rules regarding relegation won't change how it goes about the season.
"Some clubs might take the opportunity to play young guys but within our group, we have a lot of young guys so it doesn't change a lot for us," he said.
"It's not really a relief, if it was it would mean you're a chance to get relegated and I'd like to think we are at the other end of the scale."
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