Football Federation Australia admit they expect stiff opposition on promotion and relegation specifics from A-League clubs as they head towards a national second tier.
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.
There is a belief that by pushing for that reserve league model it will largely avoid the problems of promotion and relegation with clubs unable to have have two teams in the same league - so if an A-League's B-team can win the Championship, it will negate any need for promotion or relegation.
FFA chairman Chris Nikou shrugged off the concerns and insisted the second tier had the backing of the A-League clubs.
"The A-League clubs can speak for themselves," he said.
Nikou caused controversy in March when he insisted that A-League clubs could not be relegated from the elite level until 2034 under the terms of their licence.
He now says the FFA does currently have the right to introduce promotion and relegation - but the system has to be in place and operating smoothly first.
"The way to move the needle on this is to get the new A-League model up and running and then as quickly as possible get a second division running," said Nikou.
"And once you consolidate those two elements, only then can you have the discussion about the promotion-relegation in its truest form.
"That's not to say teams in the second division or Championship would not be considered for teams to expand the A-League."
Funding and business models for the new league and its clubs could be decided by the broadcast deal, and may be bundled into the next TV rights for the A-League, currently due to expire in four years.
"The experience around Australia is that second tier competitions have not performed well in economic terms," said Nogarotto. "I don't underestimate the size of the mountain in front of us.
"But if ever there was a football code that can make a national second division work, it's ours. A second tier competition is part of the football DNA everywhere in the world.
"There are a number of options on this front and we need to respect our current rights holder and conversations we might have with the rights holders due course."
Chairman Nikou added: "We are looking at the way we best establish a second division that is financially viable.
"We've got an open mind on how we're doing that and that's for the next phase of the working party."