AAFC Chair Nick Galatas believes the A-League will be the ‘’principle beneficiaries’’ of a National Second Division when introduced.
Discussions surrounding the implementation of a professional second-tier re-surfaced during the week after reports FFA will be opening up expressions of interest for clubs in the near future.
Mr Galatas says a second division will increase viewership and interest in the game, as well as creating a “continuum” of competitive clubs across the two divisions.
“What we’re saying is there’s a lot of clubs out there that if they’re aloud to grow and given a platform to grow, which is a higher level which they’re at now, it would create a lot more stronger clubs,” he told FNR.
“I think the A-League will be the principle beneficiaries because there’ll be so much more sport.
“If you’re in England and watching Leeds versus West Brom in the Championship that’s adding to football infrastructure. You’re not waiting for the next EPL game, your interest is whether these teams will come up and join your league. Ultimately, we need to put in a second division which would enable this to happen sometime down the track.
“We can create a continuum of clubs instead of one at the top and the rest way down below where they can come up and down and bring to the game everyone who’s not currently present.”
Since its inception in March 2017, the AAFC has been a strong advocate for a second division – as well as promotion-and-relegation – with the organisation drawing up its own model called ‘The Championship’ in 2017.
Positive steps have been taken in the last 18 months with the release of the whitepaper outlining the competitions structure and timeline over the next ten years, with the paper proposing promotion-and-relegation implemented in the second five-year cycle.
One of the questions posed for a second division is the broadcast rights, with the success of the NPL streaming services offering an alternative to traditional platforms of broadcasting matches.
‘’We’ve had discussions with people who would produce the games, we’ve had a look at what the options are in terms of monetizing. Victoria’s doing the same thing with its NPL, there’s massive interest in this,” Mr Galatas said.
‘’If you’re watching a sport or a team that you’ve cared about all your life we think and we’ve done research, advertisers who support that sort of product are going to get a lot of value out of commitment and out of the people that are watching. There are a lot of ways to monetise and explore the value of this, there’s lots of upside.’’