Promotion and relegation are unlikely to be introduced to the A-League for many years, Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Chris Nikou has said.
Nikou told a Football Writers’ Festival that the current A-League clubs “have a licence until 2034, so promotion and relegation earlier than that is not likely,” but that was disputed by a fellow board member.
“I might point out that the FFA has a right to change that, but in the current climate it would not be right for me to take this any further,” Nikou said.
However, FFA board member Remo Nogarotto responded to fans on social media by expressing confusion over Nikou’s statements.
Nogarotto said the 2034 timeframe appeared to be a personal view and was not the result of any board discussion.
“Got no idea where that number comes from,” he wrote on Twitter. “Sounds pretty arbitrary. Must be a private view, and certainly one that is not shared by me.
“Would have preferred a proper board discussion before publicly ventilating.”
In a statement, the FFA said it wanted to clarify Nikou’s comments.
“Under the terms of the existing Club Participation Agreement, existing and incoming Australian Hyundai A-League clubs are entitled to participate in the Hyundai A-League until the year 2034,” the statement said.
“Whilst the CPA also provides for the introduction of promotion and relegation during that period at its discretion, FFA notes that the New Leagues Working Group and the Second Division Working Group are currently considering the future structure of the top two tiers of Australian club football, including what provisions for promotion and relegation should be established.”
In February, A-League clubs released a blueprint for an independent competition beginning later this year.
In the blueprint, growth to a 16-team home and away competition is viewed as the first step to bringing promotion and relegation to and from a national second division.
Under the model developed by A-League clubs’ umbrella body APFCA, 75 percent approval would be needed from existing clubs to make promotion and relegation a reality.