Football Victoria has revealed further fee relief and refunds for clubs throughout the state as it plots football's return from its COVID-19 enforced hibernation.
It is likely that the NPLW competition in 2020 will be reduced to a 14 game season, with the eight clubs playing each other in a home and away format before finals.
Further down the pyramid, Thursday’s statement revealed that senior state league sides will receive a 20% reduction on team entry and registration fees under the new proposals, while senior women’s sides at the community level will see a 100% reduction in team entry fees and 50% registration fee reductions.
FV then outlined that its position on junior and other community competitions such as All Abilities, Men’s Metropolitan and Masters competitions was still under review; indicated that they currently expected these competitions to “substantially complete a full season”, but that a fee-relief offer would be forthcoming should those circumstances change.
Contingent upon approval being granted from State Government and Health authorities – which FV has formally requested – Victoria’s men’s and women’s top-flight are targeting a return on July 10. Junior NPL competitions are pencilled in for a June 27 return, whilst community juniors will resume a day later under the federation’s plans. Community seniors are targeted for a July 11 return.
"We understand that this has been a very challenging time for our community and would like to recognise the extraordinary efforts of our club officials and volunteers," FV President Kimon Taliadoros said.
"We hope that these proposals assist clubs in getting back to playing our game.”
Regardless of what happens with their senior equivalents, NPL1 club’s U20 and U18 are set to undertake a full season in 2020, with the clubs in unanimous agreement with the federation that these competitions will resume.
With a number of the players involved set to sit VCE examinations in November, a number of mid-week fixtures are set to be staged to ensure that the season can be finished by October.
Elsewhere, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday that New South Wales’ senior men’s NPL1 competition was set to be scrapped for 2020 due to the financial hardships experienced by clubs due to COVID-19; clubs instead negotiating the staging of an 11 game Cup competition with Football NSW.
The report indicated the NSW federation was involved in talks with their State Government to resume to competitive football by mid-July in order to salvage as much of a season as possible for the 350,000 approximate participants in the state.
Sydney United Head Coach Zeljko Kalac, in his first year at the helm of Croatia, has since told The Daily Telegraph of his belief that any moves to not stage a senior season would be "suicidal" and "catastrophic" for young players development.