Melbourne Victory founding father Tony Ising has launched an impassioned attack on the newly-formed representative body of state league clubs called The Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) that aims to create a national second-tier competition.
Ising labelled the move by former NSL clubs as a ‘power play’ to wrest back control of Australian Football.
Appearing on last night’s For Vuck’s Sake fan podcast, Ising — the man instrumental in the Melbourne Victory consortium that gained entry into the A-League as the inaugural Melbourne team — said that the proposed breakaway second division was an attempt by the lower league clubs to gain back the power that they have lost since the formation of the A-League over a decade ago.
“The base of power in Australia used to rest with the top tier clubs in the NSL. We all know that is no longer the case and there are certain former NSL clubs that cannot handle that fact,” Ising told FVS.
In reply to a statement released yesterday by the AAFC, the former Victory General Manager noted the claim that the body represented over 30,000 players at club level which only accounts for a small amount of participating players across the country, and was not in proportion with their claims for a seat at the FFA Board or voting rights.
“By last count, our game represents one million players – so the NPL clubs represent 3% of the participating base of our sport. What about the community clubs? Who’s championing for the community clubs to get a seat at the FFA table?” he said. “It’s absolutely disproportionate to the stakeholders they represent.”
Tony’s analysis of the situation also spilled over to the national media, calling their actions a ‘farce’.
“The spotlight needs to be shone on the Australian football media who have let this go without any scrutiny. It is unfair on the million participants in Australia to let a minority of stakeholders dictate the agenda.”
Meetings between the FFA and AAFC will take place later this week as the FFA move closer to the March 31 deadline set by FIFA for the national governing body to remodel their congress voting process.
Ever the hot topic in Australian Football circles, talk of a potential second division has added heat to the promotion/relegation debate on social media with many fans believing that the country is overdue for a pro/rel system, while others fear that the game will be put into jeopardy considering the already perilous financial state some A-League clubs find themselves in, not to mention the FFA’s fragile finances.
Listen to Melbourne Victory fan podcast Vuck’s Sake each week, part of the Outside90 fan network.