Promotion and relegation between A-League to the second division

Pros: Proponents believe this will be a unique selling point for the A-League, with promotion and relegation playoffs giving the league both excitement boosts and a European style improvement in players' standards with more opportunities for coaches. 

Cons: This idea could only really work if the game was aligned (see earlier point) playing from March to November. 


'NPL, NSL clubs could rescue A-League'

Former Head of the A-League Archie Fraser says the coronavirus crisis could see ex-NSL and NPL sides finally allowed into a new-look A-League.

Verdict: There’s still a lot to be worked out in terms of the financial model, the geographic selection basis, cost of staffing, how to select the clubs, and the levels of professionalism at each club.

Will it happen? 50% chance within the next two years. 

A-League fans at Melbourne City

A-League reserve competition (A2)

Pros: From development and logistical points of view, is it easier and quicker to set up a national reserve league (perhaps a conference system) below the A-League? 
This ticks boxes as both a “second division” (without promotion) and a national youth league, which is currently a short tournament with little value. 
Featuring all A-League clubs’ academy players, fringe first-team squad members plus a selection of NPL clubs in a 16-team league, this would tick the box for player development, pyramid alignment, game time for younger players and there may be a chance to stream these games, thereby offsetting the cost with sponsorship).
Some games could be A-League curtain-raisers. 
Cons: Would this take precedence over a mooted second division that has promotion and relegation? 
Verdict: Great idea. 
Will it happen? 60% chance within the next two years. 

Fee-free grassroots football post-COVID 19

Australians are doing it tough. Unemployment has skyrocketed.

The economy could be in a recession for a few years as we deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 situation.

Pros: Is it time to offer registration relief for a two-year trial period? With the plan reviewed over time? 

This idea is for fees to be replaced by a modest single membership fee (or family membership) with members assisting the club as a way of offsetting the loss of revenue from registrations. 

So, aside from social cohesion and inclusivity outcomes and benefits, this will allow football to take advantage of the expected population boom at the grassroots level. 

As an example, in 2017, Balga Soccer Club in Perth implemented a fee-free model for players aged between five and 18.

Club president Ken Shorto stated publicly that since the change came in, his club had doubled the number of registered players — with the vast majority being newly arrived migrant families. 

Read more here

According to pre-COVID data will be key drivers of our population growth in the next 20 years. 

Cons: Potential revenue shortfall. 

Verdict: Smart idea. It’s preferable to have these ‘members' in our system rather than forced away by costs and playing other sports that offer cheaper registrations. 

Will it happen? 70% chance