The rift over the NPL Victoria model deepened yesterday after the federation refused to heed a deadline to halt the roll-out.

An alliance of 48 clubs has now instructed a legal team to launch court action against the governing body.

The clubs, led by South Melbourne FC, have dug in their heels over the NPLV, claiming it is financially unviable and will send many to the wall.

FFV has been warned the model will collapse without the top 30-40 clubs in Victoria participating.

A statement by the club alliance described the stand against the federation as “historic” and “unprecedented”.

“GPZ Legal has already briefed eminent sports law barrister Paul Hayes to assist us,” the clubs said. “Court documents will now be prepared and filed in the Supreme Court.

“We’d like to commend all of the now 48 clubs/associations for taking the difficult but principled decision to stand together and try and achieve a successful NPL model for Victoria.

“It’s not only a historic stand, but such a vast number of clubs representing a wide cross section of Victorian football demonstrates the concerns that we all hold for the current model are valid and justifies our stance.”

The alliance urged other clubs submitting Expressions of Interest to seek legal advice regarding the licence agreement and participation criteria.

The NPL is a nation-wide second tier league, with Victoria due to jump on board next year.

Clubs said they suspended legal action for 24 hours “in good faith,” and at the request of FFV, only to be notified yesterday that the Victorian model would proceed.

FFV board met on Monday night and were given an update on the process. was told applications close “strictly” at 5pm on August 16 with licences announced on September 30.

The clubs plan to meet on August 26 to agree on the “minimum requirements” for a new NPL model to start next year.