In the presentations on the NPL (National Premier Leagues) in Western Australia clubs have repeatedly been told that one of the positions in the new League will be given to the Perth Glory Youth Team. They will take up the senior team position and the reserves and the NTC will take up the team positions in the lower age groups until we get down to the Skillaroos; another development program run by Football West for younger players.
The CEO of Football West Peter Hugg stated on the radio show “Let’s Talk Football” that Perth Glory owner Tony Sage would pay an entry fee to be in the league which would be the same as all of the other clubs.
One question that has not been answered is where the team will play. All of the clubs entering the NPL are required to meet a criteria in relation to their ground, yet it would appear that the richest club, and the game’s governing body are exempt. There has been talk of the team ground-sharing with another club and that is still a distinct possibility. The other option is that they may play all of their games away from home.
This happened previously when the club was owned by Nick Tana, and he set up Future Glory, who played for one year in the state league competition. Mr Tana, having been around the game at that level for a number of years, was only too well aware that putting on a game even at State League level costs money; bar staff have to be paid, as does a groundsman etcetera. Taking that into account he paid each club an agreed sum when they hosted Future Glory. Will Mr. Sage be prepared to do the same? If not one has to ask why not?
The interesting thing however is why this team has to be in the league at all. It has been claimed that this is the case in all of the NPLs around the country, yet if you look at the states where the NPL is already in operation none of the A-League sides have their youth teams participating. Phone calls made over East to other states yet to introduce the NPL have resulted in Not the Footy Show being advised that there are no plans for them to have their A-League sides participate either.
Which is all rather confusing to say the least. In National Technical Director Han Berger’s presentation it clearly states that this is to be the case nationally, yet it would appear that Western Australia will be the only state to implement it. If it does appear that Western Australia are to be the only state looking to let their local A League side into the new league, – should it actually eventuate, – then surely the clubs should vote on the side’s inclusion?
The big problem is that this argument will not hold any weight in five months time as come the end of 2013 season the current clubs will have no power. The game’s governing body will decide which clubs deserve the right to be in the NPL and having hand picked these clubs they will continue to hold the power as to where the league goes and who is in it.
Football West say that the correct decision making process is via the Standing Committees yet this raises another major question. Will they be submitting changes to the Football West constitution to the FFA as the newly elected Men’s State League Standing Committee will no longer exist; the FFA have to approve any changes to a state body’s constitution. Will there be an NPL standing committee? Will this mean another round of elections in six months? It should do, as you cannot write such a change into the constitution now without another election, then again maybe the current standing committee will be there purely to represent those teams who do not get in the NPL.
There are still so many questions around this new League but one that constantly keeps cropping up is how can this new competition carry the moniker “National” when just like the game’s governing bodies around Australia the rules of entry are different in every state.