Aussies move to set up second-tier men’s pro league to kick off in 2024

February 6 – Football Australia has taken steps to set-up a second-tier men’s professional league that it aims to kick off in 2024.

The federation has issued an invitation for Expressions of Interest (EOI) in the league with a deadline set for the end of the month. This will be followed by a request for proposals that will complete in June and an assessment of proposals to complete in August with clubs being awarded slots in the new league by end September latest.

Football Australia said the new league would be between 10 and 16 teams and would sit below the A-League but above the National Premier Leagues. Clubs would play each other home and away.

While clubs will be parachuted into the league for its start-up, Federation Australia said that once the league matures, then promotion and relegation options will be reviewed with the view of creating an A League second division, and a pathway upwards for National Premier League clubs.

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said: “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.

Clubs in the National Second Tier League (still to be officially named), will have to commit to full time professional contracts for all players for 52 weeks of the year.

They will also have to employ a full ‘off field’ staff for 12 months of the year as well as invest in a full talent development pathway from youth to senior football, as well as demonstrate games will be played at a high quality stadium.

“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,” said Johnson.

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

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1680332540labto1680332540ofdlr1680332540owedi1680332540sni@n1680332540osloh1680332540cin.l1680332540uap1680332540


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