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Victoria NPL

NPL club puts hand up for National Second Division as it calls for immediate promotion and relegation

5:19 AM GMT+4 26/06/2019
Melbourne Knights
"If clubs are foolish enough to chase glory and crash and burn they are the only ones to blame."

Victorian National Premier League side Melbourne Knights have officially thrown their hat in the ring for inclusion in the National Second Division. 

The club, which was founded in 1953, penned a nine-page 'commentary' piece on previously published plans for an official second division in Australia which were released last week.

Expressing their interest in playing in a competition which is aiming to begin in 2021, the Knights stressed potential future A-League teams shouldn't be selected by Football Federation Australia

"The Melbourne Knights Football Club is keenly interested in participating in a National Second Division which would allow the club the opportunity to grow and meet its potential," the Knights statement read.

"It is therefore imperative for clubs that are interested in participating in such a competition put forward their own proposals with the aim of contributing to the public debate and to help shape the future competition’s framework.

"We are of the strong opinion that the governing body of the sport has no place in deciding where A-league teams should come from in a strategic manner moving forward.

"That is to say that football competitions need to be guided by the principle of the free market in which the market finds its own equilibrium in where teams come from and how they operate.

"We cannot talk about wanting teams to represent large geographic areas in a theoretical manner unless there is an appetite for these areas to pool their own resources in creating regional teams or entering as standalone premier clubs from their region. Once again, if there are teams that fulfil the criteria, they will come into being on their own and be assessed on an equal footing with any other applicant."

The Knights, who have earned their place in the FFA Cup Round of 32, believe promotion and relegation must also be implemented as soon as possible.

Initial considerations for a National Second Division suggest clubs selected could be given five years in the competition before they can begin going up and down divisions - a consideration the Knights are clearly against. 

"There must be immediate promotion and relegation with the NPLs around Australia to and from the NSD," the Knights statement continued. 

"We reject the idea of phased protection with an incubation period and then promotion and relegation. If clubs are foolish enough to chase glory and crash and burn they are the only ones to blame. 

"We are excited by the possibilities of the national second division and firmly believe that it could be the change and rejuvenation that the sport needs to fulfil its potential."

Main picture supplied by: Melbourne Knights/Mikko Robles