New soccer competition mooted for 2004 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New soccer competition mooted for 2004

By Glenn Cullen 08/12/2003 06:32:56 PM Comments (0)

A taskforce examining the viability of the haemorrhaging National Soccer League has plumped for a new 10-team competition to start as soon as November 2004.

In an expansive document released through the Australian Soccer Association (ASA) it was revealed NSL clubs had lost $52 million over the past three seasons and that the current competition structure could no longer be sustained.

The "NSL taskforce" recommended a new domestic competition be put in place as soon as practicable with three teams from Sydney, two from Melbourne, one each from Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane and a further two teams with preference for one of those given to New Zealand.

Sydney has five teams under the current NSL structure.

The taskforce's timeline gives clubs interested in participating until April 2004 to register, with the successful teams to be announced at the end of June.

It was envisaged teams from the independently run competition would need a minimum budget of $3.5 million per season which included player payments of up to $1.5 million and a capital contribution to the league - in which the clubs would be shareholders - of $1 million.

Clubs would also have to meet other criteria such as having a 10,000-20,000 seat stadium.

ASA chairman Frank Lowy said any existing NSL club hoping to take part in the new competition would need to improve its off-the-park performances.

"If they want to participate they'll have to lift their game," said Lowy, who added the proposal for a new competition would have to be run by potential sponsors as well.

"But they're not going to keeping succeeding if the structure isn't right - so everybody (in Australian soccer) needs to lift their game."

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