The Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) - the representative body of National Premier Leagues (NPL) clubs - has formally declared its desire to be included in Football Federation Australia's (FFA) congress.
In a statement sent to FFA and the media on Tuesday, the AAFC declared that "a majority" of Australia's second-tier clubs have endorsed the new group, which will hold its first meeting on March 20.
Congratulations, the AAFC is born 14 March 2017 pic.twitter.com/HdOU9HTQ55— Tom (@tom_kalas) March 14, 2017
Last week, the group's spokesperson Tom Kalas told Goal that the AAFC was interested in more than just voting rights on FFA's set-to-be expanded congress, claiming that NPL clubs wanted to be a "consultative, professional and measured voice" for the benefit of Australian football.
But in the week since NPL Victoria clubs met to discuss establishing the AAFC, the "overwhelming message" from clubs around Australia has been that the representative body should get a seat at FFA's table.
The AAFC was registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission as a public company on Tuesday.
"The Association of Australian Football Clubs' (AAFC) plans for its inaugural meeting of members in Melbourne next Monday, 20 March 2017 have been heartily supported by a great number of NPL clubs across the country," the AAFC's statement read.
"The AAFC has already been endorsed by a majority of NPL clubs.
"Most will be present at the first meeting with many having confirmed they will travel from interstate.
"As members of AAFC, the clubs will set its aims and priorities. Already, however, the overwhelming message from the clubs to AAFC has been that their priority is to secure formal representation, as a special interest group, at the forthcoming FFA General Congress as well as a permanent seat.
"These clubs field approximately 30,000 players who have been identified for elite development under FFA's NPL model.
"Only with direct formal representation at the FFA table will the distinct and important interests of the NPL clubs be properly represented."
Goal reported on Saturday that the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) backs the AAFC's bid to be included in FFA's voting structure.
It is understood the AFC considers the AAFC to be as significant as the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association, which represents the 10 A-League clubs.
FIFA has set FFA a deadline of March 31 to expand its congress beyond its current 10 voters.
FFA has twice rescheduled a meeting with state federations, A-League clubs and Professional Footballers Australia to discuss how the congress - which elects the national governing body's board - should be expanded.
The meeting is now due to be held on Friday.