FFA has signed up a major corporate partner for its second-tier competition, but David Gallop says it’s too early to start talking promotion and relegation.
Football Federation Australia’s push towards a system of promotion and relegation gathered momentum on Monday, but David Gallop has no interest in rushing the seismic shift.
FFA announced a naming rights partner for its second-tier National Premier Leagues (NPL), which was introduced last year and features the best clubs from state competitions.
Gallop also revealed in Melbourne that the winner of this year’s NPL would receive an automatic spot in the 2015 FFA Cup round of 32.
The FFA chief executive wasn’t ready to put a timeline on when the carrot dangling in front of the likes of Palm Beach and South Melbourne could instead be an A-League berth.
“Ultimately we want to have that structure (of promotion and relegation), it’s what the long-term vision is,” Gallop said.
“There’s still a fair way to go, but the development of the National Premier Leagues is a step in that journey.
“To have a big global brand attached to it (NPL) is an important step (in its development).
“There’s obviously a lot of commercial considerations .. and we haven’t quite jumped those hurdles yet.”
Gallop suggested the A-League did not need relegation to continue its growth.
“You wouldn’t do it until you were guaranteed it would be successful,” he added.
The NPL elimination finals start on September 20, with the final to be held on October 4 or 5.
The competition is being backed by Sony Computer Entertainment Australia.
“Commercial support … was a final piece in the (NPL) building blocks,” said Gallop.
“The investment itself will allow us to make distributions across each member federation and that’s all part of the consolidation of all those state leagues … effectively into one championship.”
NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES ELIMINATION FINALS:
1) Weston Workers (Northern NSW Football) v Palm Beach Sharks (Football Queensland) in Weston
2) Cooma Tigers (Capital Football) v Bonnyrigg White Eagles (Football NSW) in Canberra
3) South Hobart (Football Federation Tasmania) v South Melbourne (Football Federation Victoria) in Hobart
4) Bayswater City (Football West) v MetroStars SC (Football Federation South Australia) in Perth
*All games on September 20.