Crisis talks as Victorian Premier League clubs formulate response to Football Federation Victoria's competition restructure

With big changes afoot for the Victorian Premier League under the FFV's competition restructure, member clubs met on Tuesday to discuss their stance

Representatives from Victorian Premier League clubs met for crisis talks on Tuesday to discuss possible courses of action over Football Federation Victoria's mooted competition restructure.

The closed meeting at Kevin Bartlett Reserve - called in response to the strategic plan set to them by FFV on August 6 - appears to have garnered a unanimous response from the clubs, though it remains unclear which route they will collectively take.

For now, understands that the clubs will look to engage with the FFV over the discussion paper that, it is believed, is mostly agreed upon in principle.

However, doubt over implementation, timeframe and the FFV's ensuing stance lingers.

As it stands, the FFV is looking to have the discussion paper ratified by November in order for the restructure's 2014 inception.

The restructure is in response to Football Federation Australia's National Competition Review, released in May.

After initially staying silent within an official setting, VPL clubs have now begun to put their feelings on the record, with concerns over how such drastic changes will be implemented in time for 2014 most prominent.

Richmond Soccer Club secretary and meeting chair Jon Vonk believes more time is needed to iron out a calculated and considered plan for Victorian football's future.

"The clubs have noted with interest the draft proposal set by the FFV, but obviously feel that insufficient time has been given to us to warrant a measured and genuine response," he said.

"I think what we're actually looking at here is that they are proposing revolution as opposed to evolution."

The FFV restructure revolves around a 20-plus-team elite competition, without promotion and relegation and including six teams from Victoria's regional areas.

A player point system and licensing structure will also be introduced, while clubs will be required to field teams in men's, women's and underage competitions.

Heidelberg football director Arthur Evreniadis criticised the timeframe of the plan's implementation, accusing the FFV of reflecting an autocratic attitude through the projected revamp.

"I think that what really needs to happens is that, for any change in any sporting competition, there needs to be wide consultation and a decent timeline to allow the clubs and the stakeholders to make the necessary adjustments," he said.

"To propose something and impose on people in a very short timeframe like the FFV has suggested is, really, oppressive.

"I'm not going into any detail here, but I believe the FFV have got an ulterior motive and that's why they've imposed such a short timeline. By virtue of that, they're bringing forward the death of all of the clubs."

Melbourne Knights chairman Ange Cimera, whose club is perhaps best-equipped of VPL teams to handle such a restructure, believes the plan needs a larger timeframe for greater stability.

"We were concerned about the plan's feasibility because they're looking at something between $400,000-$500,000, to run men's, women's and junior teams for each," he said during the week.

"There's some merit but I think it's too far down the track because clubs don’t have the facilities at this point in time. We're probably the only club that can because we have access 24/7, 365 days a year. Other clubs can't have that due to councils and other sports, but they want to run a 40-week competition."

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