The FFA last week released their white paper on the basics of a second division, tentatively dubbed the Championship.

It includes a plan for promotion and relegation both from the Championship to the A-League but also from the NPL state leagues up to the second tier too.

But even at this stage, promotion won't feature until at least five years after the first season of the Championship, currently pencilled in to kick off in 2021/22.

And relegation from the A-League could come much later.

While A-League clubs have gone on the record to back the concept of promotion and relegation, the architect of the white paper, FFA director Remo Nogarotto, admits tough talks still lie ahead.

"I am sure there will be robust discussions with the A-League clubs," he admitted. "Let's not kid ourselves about promotion and relegation and some of the other matters.

"But we are football people and football people understand that second tier is in the interests of the game.

"And football people, romantically if nothing else, understand that we should all aspire to some level of promotion and relegation.

"Now whether the economics at the end of the day preclude that, or whether it means in six months or six years..."

Nogarotto has proposed a five year stabilisation period for the new league to allow clubs to settle within the new league, possibly starting with as few as eight teams before expanding.

"This allows the national second division clubs to get their economic footing in place to be able to deliver a sustainable business model," he said.

"It's not just about a sustainable football model. It's not just about a sustainable football model."

Nogarotto added: "That first five year window is their incubation window. If some of them want to step up and put their hand up for A-League expansion, all well and good. 

"I say the five to 10 year window is where we have a realistic conversation about the more difficult subjects around promotion and relegation above, and obviously promotion and relegation from below because the idea here is to open it up, not just above but from below."

An added factor is a suspicion that A-League clubs will want to use the second tier as more like a reserve league, stacked with B-teams and youth players at the expense of Australia's more historic and traditional clubs.