By Nick Creely
Football Victoria (FV) has confirmed there will be relief packages in place across all tiers of football this season with soccer’s return potentially only weeks away.
FV confirmed the proposed competition structures, fee relief and refund proposals to all clubs on 4 June, with approximately $1m in reductions – including over $600,000 for community competitions – expected to pave the way for the return of the game.
Football Victoria president Kimon Taliadoros said it was important to get clubs and communities back into sport after a challenging period.
“We understand that this has been a very challenging time for our community and would like to recognise the extraordinary efforts of our club officials and volunteers,” he said.
“We hope that these proposals assist clubs in getting back to playing our game.”
At this stage, elite pathway NPL junior competitions are proposed to resume on 27 June, while NPL senior competitions have been earmarked for 10 July. Community club juniors are proposed to start on 28 June, while community senior competitions have a proposed start date for 11 July.
FV has announced relief packages in consultation with football stakeholders, including players, parents, the 355 clubs and associations – across all tiers of football – that have been funded by the foregoing of registration and participation fees that would have otherwise been due payable to FV for participation in 2020.
All NPL clubs received the initial proposal based on self-funding from within NPL revenues, without cross-subsidisation from other levels of football. With the competition the most impacted due to current State Government restrictions on crowds, the offer will cease when mass gatherings are allowed for more than 300 people.
NPLW and NPL referees have also offered a 25 per cent discount on game day senior team match fee payments in a proposed 2020 season. This arrangement will cease if the State Government enables gatherings of more than 300 people in Victoria.
Senior state league football is set to receive a 20 per cent reduction on team entry and registration fees, while FV has extended that level of support for the women’s game at senior community level to include 100 per cent team entry reductions and 50 per cent registration fee reductions
FV is still in the process of reviewing junior and other community competitions – including All Abilities, men’s metropolitan and Masters – but, based on the current return to play target dates and the agreements with other sports, councils and the State Government to extend the season into October, all competitions are expected to complete a full season, with FV also confirming it will issue fee relief offers should the seasons be shortened.
FV is also developing a hardship policy, which will be released shortly to further support those that are unable to return to the game, as a result of the impact of Covid-19.