AFL North-East Border is hoping a guaranteed saving of at least $1290 for all 10 Ovens and Murray Football-Netball League clubs will be the forerunner to re-opening talks about the major league signing up to have its administration handled by the regional body.
The AFL has made the announcement it will cover the $1290 paid by clubs in affiliation charges for the next three years with AFLNEB John O'Donohue confirming other costs paid by clubs were under review.
The O and M has to date resisted moves to join the Wodonga-based regional administration centre which already manages the Tallangatta and District, Ovens and King, Upper Murray and Albury-Wodonga and Wangaratta junior competitions with a separate service fee paid.
"We would hope some of these funding announcements would change the discussion," he said.
"I don't think we would be looking at 2020, but it definitely stays on the agenda.
"It is about aligning everything at the right time and the whole economy of the game in the region can change if everyone is on the same page.
"We're always trying to flush out more efficiencies, but at the moment we can't fully realise those."
A total of $235,000 is paid across the North-East region in affiliation fees including $1290 by each senior club and $700 by every junior club.
But a separate player registration charge of nearly $5000 for the 10 O and M clubs clubs and even more by district league clubs due to having two junior grades will still need to be paid.
O and M chairman David Sinclair said he wouldn't comment until the league had a full understanding of what the changes were and how they impacted clubs.
The AFL will also invest $1.5 million towards establishing a community investment fund for special projects.
O'Donohue said many worthwhile cases existed in all leagues across the region.
"It's not something that will just be cash grab," he said.
"It needs to be managed properly with a trust to oversee it.
"Applications have to fit into the regional strategy."