Friday, 8 November 2013

No NPL Victoria in 2014

In a classic case of be careful what you wish for - remember how I got fed up with all the NPL Victoria talk, and just wanted five minutes of space so I could discuss our finals campaign? - well, that turned into a solid few weeks of eerie silence post-season, unnerving everyone with its lack of detail and information.

A week or two back, the FFV, FFA and the co-signatory clubs had a marathon 10 hour meeting, as a part of a last ditch effort to avoid the pending Supreme Court action. The FFV tried to claim the moral high ground on the matter, claiming that it was more or less their idea, but I doubt anyone bought that line.

The usual leaks and rumour mongering didn't happen, adding further tension to the situation, and perhaps led to the situation were people were predicting a break in the unity of the co-signatory clubs, and then suggesting all sorts of comprises had been made to get the new format up and going in 2014.

Well, the FFV came out today and settled at least one matter, announcing that there would be no NPL Victoria in 2014, with the leagues to run as per the usual model. So first off, welcome back Heidelberg to the VPL after an absence of one season, and also to Werribee City for the first time since 1995. Secondly, 'the we're stuck in the fucking VPL' chant lives on for another year, which is great.

But all jokes aside, the FFV have again tried to claim the moral high ground, painting the co-signatory clubs as recalcitrant. Its timing could have not been more devious. Releasing your press release at 5:00PM on a Friday? The old 3RRR show The Spin (which focused on media and PR trickery) had a name for that - the five o'clock dump.

Already we had the situation where one of the key co-signatory representatives, Box Hill United's Nicholas Tsiaras, was excluded from the discussions by the FFV. Now the talk is that the FFV had more or less agreed to a compromise solution with the FFA and the co-signatory clubs, but later reneged on that deal. It seems like the concept of good faith has gone completely out the window.

So are we headed to the courts now? Who's going to foot the bills? Who has the staying power? Will the FFA finally come down like a tonne of bricks onto one of the two sides? One mess cleaned up, temporarily. A whole new can of worms about to get started.


  1. FFA won't touch this because quite frankly, they have no idea what's going on. It's all about divide and conquer and as long as the clubs maintain clear communication between themselves it will only be a matter of time before the FFV board is replaced. Only question now is, who is going to step up?

    Also, really looking forward to seeing Heidelberg where they belong! I think relegation was a bit of a wake up call for them. Club seemed a bit of a shambles in its last few years in VPL.

    Also congrats to Werribee which just became officially associated with Lazio in Italy. Not bad, maybe see some of those fallen Italian sokkah stars land on our shores like the pre-nsl era haha.

    Interestingly the only Italian backed rep in the VPL in two seasons. What's with that?

  2. Paul, another incisive blog post, where I get a mention...Yipee, more search engine fodder.

    I can formally confirm that I have been excluded in negotiations with the FFV. Why, I don't know but suspect it has to do with the fact that I was the instigator of the NO NPLV campaign when I exposed the numbers, and rallied the first lot of clubs together. Also I took the lead in posting on FFV facebook page every media release the Co-Sigs made and any article in the media on the matter. It appears the truth hurt, and I can assure you sources indicate that myself and others have been vilified by the Board, they have my phone number they could have called, the vitreole directly at me would have at least allowed rebuttal.

    The reason why the Co-Sig Clubs went "dark" was to honour and respect the agreement made with the Senior FFA officials and their select mediator. The clubs have always maintained the moral high ground in this battle, and the FFV statement referring to the plaintiffs continues to show their lack of willingness to deal in good faith with the clubs and FFA.

    Co-Sigs will be making a statement Monday morning...stay tuned.

    I can assure you the football landscape will be different come Tuesday evening when the clubs meet.

    By the way Moreland Zebras were in VPL 2012...Italian backed my friend.

    1. Dead right about Paul’s post Nic. Inclusive as always.

      What a saga. Whatever my view about the merits of a truly state-wide completion that increases emphasis on competitive ‘player development’ approach and market design relative to a competitive ‘trophies-only’ approach (and associated traditional pyramid), I am almost at the stage where I would (against my usual position) say the quicker this gets to court the better. Not much good cones out of courts in these circumstances as a lot of damage is done along the way, however sometimes they are all we have.

      Still think the FFA may get involved - but I assume that if it was that important to them they would have achieved something by now. Maybe they are taking a breather, getting their advice, and preparing to intervene as they did in NSW?

      Thanks for the updates on Twitter too Nic – it was all there was for mugs like me outside the process.

      Anyway, the next instalment in this saga is no doubt not too far away.


A few notes on comments.

We've had a lot of fun over the years with my freewheeling comments policy, but all good things must come to an end. Therefore I will no longer be approving comments that contain personal abuse of any sort.

Still, if your post doesn't get approved straight away, it's probably because I haven't seen it yet.

As usual, publication of a comment does not mean endorsement of its content.