Otago Daily Times
Football South CEO looking forward to more longterm certainty
A PROPOSED revamp of New Zealand Football’s structure would bring pros and cons, Football South CEO Chris Wright said.
Football South is set to meet its clubs tonight in order to provide them with information on how the proposal would impact those in the South.
From there those clubs will give their feedback to the national body.
The new proposal would discontinue existing national league, moving to a clubbased set up.
Teams would play in winter leagues in southern, central and northern regions from March to September. Qualifiers from each would advance to a national league to be played
the from September to December.
Wright said a move to align the game into a single season and create a more sustainable setup would be positive.
However, the move to a clubbased model was a change and they would have to look at investing in capability in order to become licensed.
Costs would be equalised throughout the country, meaning playing in the South Island league would be more affordable than previously.
That was a major positive, as Wright said establishing a South Island league had been the most common request he received since beginning in his role five years ago.
Wright added the cost would not be too much more than that which clubs were paying in the Southern Premier League, given the travel involved there.
The big issues would be deciding what the league would look like, as well as which teams played in the league — and doing so quickly, if it was to go ahead next year.
‘‘I guess it’s going to create a bit of noise in a way,’’ Wright said.
‘‘Clubs are going to have to think very carefully about what they want to be.
‘‘There’s no reason why clubs can’t be a really good community club and a really good club in the pinnacle space.
‘‘But those foundations of clubs and how they serve their communities are the most important thing.’’
Wright also said a big challenge would be the step up in being exposed to a higher quality of football more regularly.
That would take time, although it was a case of the clubs wanting to aspire to get there.
It opened the danger of top players leaving the region if no southern teams made the national league, although it would also expose more players to a level above the local premier league.
Wright said it would be good to have a longerterm model set down, whatever is decided.
Football’s national league setup had changed several times over the years and he said it had been hard to plan further ahead than the current season with Southern United.
Having a plan set for the next five to 10 years so longterm objectives could be made would alleviate that.