NPL clubs believe a national second division is closer than ever after the revolution at the FFA yesterday.
Rabieh Krayem, Chairman of the Association of Australian Football Clubs, believes the coming overhaul of the FFA will finally bring the changes they want.
For 18 months the AAFC, representing more than 100 NPL clubs from around the country, has been promoting a national second division as well as promotion and relegation.
Yesterday’s extraordinary general meeting of the FFA congress saw members vote in favour of a new constitution that will see power shared among a greater variety of groups.
Although not guaranteed an immediate place in congress, the new constitution creates a pathway that could soon allow them a vote.
And Krayem believes the changes will give football a chance to flourish.
“What it means is that the second division which has been on the table for the last 12 months is on the agenda,” he told FTBL.
“Football has now been given its opportunity to go to the next level. It’s exciting but we have to put into perceptive that the hard works begins today.
“There is still a lot of work to go to through to get the final model for a second division so the work will continue to progress this as part of the new reforms.”
Krayem not only believes the NPL body deserves a seat at the congress table, but feels the organisation’s work over the past 18 months was a contributing factor in yesterday's massive changes.
“The work that the AAFC has done has led to the position of where we are,” he said.
“It showed from the NPL clubs' perspective that when they work together and unite together they can be part of a reform for change.
“We have done it in a respectful manner where we have put football first rather than club ideology.
“We have been recognised for that work by all relevant stakeholders from FIFA, AFC to even FFA, the member federations and the A-League clubs.
“The Congress Review Working Group report submitted to FIFA back in July recognised the AAFC as a stakeholder.
“They recognised that we should be part of the congress and the work that we have done in the last 18 months will be taken into account as part of our membership.”