PLANS for a Victorian premier league side based on the Border are continuing despite mounting concerns the competition is financially flawed and facing legal action.
Melbourne media reports that no existing Victorian Premier League clubs remain in the race to join the nationally streamlined second tier of domestic soccer next year — the National Premier League — and all but four State League 1 clubs have turned their back on the venture.
There are also reports South Melbourne club will go to court to block the competition, its ultimatum to Football Victoria setting today as the deadline.
The Melbourne clubs are claiming a potential shortfall of $140,000 a year under the obligations and demands of the competition designed to shake up Australian football below the Hyundai A-League.
But Wodonga Diamonds president Paul Millynn, who is part of a group driving the Border’s plans for the competition, says greed and a lack of resources are behind the Melbourne clubs’ actions.
“These clubs charge their juniors $3200 to register for the year,” he said.
“Under the NPLV it is capped at $1700 and the way we are going to work it will mean no junior up here pays anything like that.
“These teams in Melbourne also lack the depth that we have here on the Border.
“They will have to go and get some of these junior sides and that is an issue for them as well.
“And the fact is they don’t have the grounds — at least not enough of them.
“Despite their protests the FFV says this is the way forward and if you aren’t part of the competition next year you go back to an amateur league.”
Millynn says the proponents are continuing with their plans.
“We believe we are in the mix for a licence and tick all the right boxes,” he said.
“We see this competition as a foothold for football on the Border and a step forward for the code.”
Millynn has called for letters of support from other Albury Wodonga Football Association clubs to further endorse the plan.
“We believe the timing is right and that the NPL will raise the standard of local competition and facilities and contribute to the growth of football in our region,” he said.