The issue of Football Federation Victoria (FFV) and it's implementation of the National Competitions Review (NCR) and the establishment of the National Premier League Victoria (NPLV) is too big to be properly covered in a single blog piece. Over the next few days, I will look at it from several varying perspectives.
Perhaps the first issue that comes to mind when pondering the proposed NPLV is the fact that it is being put together by the FFV, an organisation mired in mediocrity and failure. Since the FFV began taking a more hands-on role in junior development, we have seen Victoria fall behind the other states. The number of Victorians in the Socceroos has dwindled. Yet the organisation that has presided over this decline continues to push for changes which could make things even worse.
It is interesting to note that in the first year that Melbourne Victory took control of their Youth team after previously farming it out to the FFV, they won the Championship. There is case to argue that one of the F's in FFV must surely stand for Fail. Football Fail Victoria or Fail Federation Victoria have run Victory Youth and Victory Women's teams with a spectacular lack of achievement considering we are the second largest city in the country.
So when such a body presents a blueprint for the future, the quality and soundness of it's plans have to be questioned. Especially given the FFV is coming off a year in which it recorded a loss of nearly a million dollars. Can the viability of it's plans for the NPL Victoria be taken seriously given such a poor record in financial management? Can we trust their projections in crowd and sponsorship revenue in light of them having gotten it so wrong in the past?
With the FFV about to restructure it's competitions between "Elite" and "Community" leagues, I am left to wonder what suggests to the FFV that they know anything about being elite? Despite the success of the A-League, the game has gone backwards at a local level. Check out the videos on www.smfc.com.au and footballchaos.com and see how a small group of dedicated volunteers, and then a lone volunteer, have produced an output which puts the full-time staff of the FFV to shame. In recent years the Victorian Premier League (VPL) has gone from having full page match reports on each fixture in Goal! Weekly, two or three matches featured in a highlights package on Channel 31 and well-updated Facebook page to just the Facebook page. That does not sound like an improvement or progress to me.
If a senior men's zonal competition was viable, why didn't the FFV get it up and running when it commenced the inaugural Victorian Summer League? The answer can only be it wasn't viable. They have already tried and cut their losses before total failure once before. It wasn't viable then, and can only get up and running via the FFV destroying the current clubs to impose a new league set-up. If it then still doesn't prove viable, it can join the long list of failed and re-branded FFV programs and they will start again. It will only be then, however, that the amount of damage done will become fully apparent.