New Leagues working group

Football Federation Australia (FFA) confirms that the New Leagues Working Group (NLWG) has submitted its report and recommendations for an alternative model for the professional leagues comprising of the A-League, W-League and Y-League (the Leagues).

In view of the interest in, and significance of the future professional leagues model to the Australian football community, the FFA Board has decided to publicly release the NLWG Report in its entirety.

The key principles in the report included:

• That a new and separate professional leagues entity must have regard to the best interests of Australian football as a whole;

• The new leagues entity would be responsible for the professional football leagues including, but not limited to, the A-League, W-League and Y-League;

• The new entity would be autonomous and separate from Football Federation Australia (FFA);

• The leagues entity would offer the clubs greater responsibility and encouragement to invest in order to commercialise and to grow the professional game as a part of and for the benefit of Australian football; and

• The new Leagues entity should foster the development of the leagues and, through the Leagues, football in Australia by providing the pathway for Australian footballers to an elite level and, ultimately, Australian national teams.

In addition, the NLWG determined that the legal, commercial and regulatory arrangements required to give effect to the various principles involve complex matters which require more time in order to be finalised.

The NLWG recommended that the detail and structure of the new league entity continue to be discussed by the stakeholders of Australian football with a view to formalisation by 30 June 2019, with a suitable transition period to be implemented thereafter.

The NLWG comprised representatives from each Member Federation, the A-League Clubs, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), the Women’s Football Council and the FFA Board. Led by Judith Griggs, the NLWG worked over a period of six weeks following her appointment to fulfil the mandate established by resolution of FFA’s members at a General Meeting held 2 October 2018. This included a 31 March deadline to report.

FFA Chairman Chris Nikou thanked all who contributed to the NLWG process: “The NLWG has served an important purpose in bringing all the football family together to chart a course for the future of professional club football in Australia,” he said.

“Extensive discussion has occurred, all with the intent of setting up the Leagues to continue to grow, and to contribute to the success of Australian football more broadly, in the years to come. I would like to thank Judith for her tireless work in chairing the NLWG and for facilitating rapid progress in a short space of time.

“There is a great deal more work to be done and the FFA Board remains committed to engaging with all its members and stakeholders in good faith to arrive at the best possible outcome for the whole of the game.”

The NLWG also considered the future establishment of a national second tier of football through submissions received from the National Second Division Working Group. A draft white paper which outlines a vision for a national second division is currently under development and will be shared with stakeholders before being considered by the FFA Board.

In accordance with the FFA General Meeting Special Resolution passed on 2 October 2018, the NLWG recommendations will now be considered by the FFA Board and, if endorsed, will pass for approval by the Member Federations and the three Women’s Football Council Members elected by the Member Federations, following a review of the FFA Constitution. If approved, the recommendations would underpin a proposed final phase of the process which all stakeholders aim to finalise by 30 June 2019.

To download the full ‘New League Working Group’ Recommendations Report, click here.

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