Football Victoria (FV) today advises the outcome of Supreme Court legal proceedings initiated by Avondale FC (AFC) against FV.
AFC commenced proceedings against FV in the Supreme Court in December 2021, seeking to be crowned Premiers for the 2021 NPL (1) Senior Men’s competition, as a result of being on top of the 2021 NPL (1) ladder after the season was regrettably cancelled after 18 rounds due to the impact of COVID-19 and government mandates. FV rejected AFC’s position and both parties engaged qualified and senior representation in the proceedings, which included mediation.
The outcome of a mediated settlement, is a bespoke, one-off solution where the results of the relevant fifty-six 2022 NPL (1) Men’s matches will also be applied to the unplayed matches from the 2021 NPL (1) Season, as they fall during the 26 Rounds in 2022. This will allow the NPL (1) team finishing on top of the 2021 ladder to be crowned 2021 Premiers.
The parties acknowledge that this is unconventional, however due to the specific NPL (1) Rules of Competition and in the best interests of the game, the parties were obliged to consider a unique, one-off solution. FV and AFC particularly also wanted to shield our game from further protracted and expensive legal disruption. Whilst unusual, this solution results in minimum impact on the 2022 competitions and enables multiple teams in the NPL (1) Senior Men’s competition to also have the opportunity to compete for the title of Premiers for the 2021 season.
No change is in effect for Promotion and Relegation. A Finals Series will not be played for the 2021 NPL (1) season and Champions will not be named. No individual player honours will be awarded for 2021.
FV continues to finalise the 2022 Rules of Competition for all leagues, taking into account the insights of the prior COVID-19 affected seasons and the feedback obtained through the consultation process with Clubs in late 2021. FV continues to monitor the impact of the pandemic on our game globally and the challenges faced. Whilst there are no guarantees that the pandemic will not again affect our competitions, the 2022 Rules of Competition will seek to provide additional flexibility for the consideration of Promotion and Relegation and titles to be awarded, should the season be affected by the pandemic.