HomeFootballFootball Australia Opens EOI For Second Tier Competition

Football Australia Opens EOI For Second Tier Competition

Football Australia Opens EOI For Second Tier Competition

Football Australia has taken a significant step for the sport by issuing an invitation for expression of interest (EOI) to all interested parties as they prepare for the launch of a second-tier competition.

The EOI process is crucial in gauging the level of interest from clubs and ensuring that the competition is well-structured and well-administered.

The purpose of the competition is to provide a steppingstone for talented young players and provide a pathway to the top tier of Australian football, while also providing opportunities for regional clubs to prove their worth and compete against the best in the country.

The new competition will include:

  • A new national tier of football between the A-League Men competition and the National Premier Leagues, with the opportunity for promotion and relegation to be considered once mature.
  • A home and away league structure with finals, comprised of between 10 and 16 teams and featuring between 24 to 36 games.
  • Successful Respondents to the Application Process would be required to depart their existing football competitions for the National Second Tier.
  • National Second Tier Clubs will enter into a Club Participation Agreement setting out the terms of participation, including but not limited to the following requirements:
    • professional playing contracts for all players, with salaries paid 52 weeks of the year;
    • ‘off field’ operations run by employed staff throughout 12 months of the year;
    • investment in and operation of a full talent development pathway within their club structure; and
    • access to a suitable high-quality match day facility 12 months of the year.

Commenting on the partnership, Football Australia CEO, James Johnson, added: “Developing a national second tier competition is a key component of our 15-year vision for the game and our efforts to reconnect and realign Australian football competitions.

“Australian football has gone on a journey of transformation over the last two years and this is the latest example of us bringing our vision for the game to life.

“In 2022, we did extensive financial and competition modelling followed by a series of consultations with clubs and other stakeholders across the game.

“We know from this process that there is a lot of interest in a national second tier so we expect that we will receive a strong number of responses in this first EOI phase.

“Some of these clubs have a rich history in Australian football and aspire to grow and compete at a national level.

“The national second tier will now provide a platform for these aspirational clubs and to be a part of a connected football pyramid in the long term.

“With football booming in Asia, our national teams competing strongly on the world stage and as the largest team participation base in Australian sport, this is the right time to create a national second tier.

“We look forward to the process we have now launched and working collaboratively with all stakeholders and interested parties in building a successful National Second Tier and kicking the league off as early as March 2024,” he said.

Should the level of interest not reach the desired number of clubs, Football Australia has a contingency plan in place, where ‘group based’ competition model will utilize the National Premier Leagues competition to determine the make-up of the competition, which will follow a similar format to the ‘Champions League’ model.

The start date for the National Second Tier competition has been set for March 2024, giving clubs and Football Australia ample time to prepare and make necessary arrangements.

Football Australia is confident that the new National Second Tier competition will provide opportunities for players, clubs and fans to showcase their skills, passion and love for the sport.

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