In breaking news, the National Gridiron League has announced to players the inaugural season of the NGL will need to be postponed for one year to start in October 2017.
In shattering news to all involved, the NGL have cited difficulties with equipment suppliers and delays around visa approvals for the 300+ international players and coaches for the reason behind the delay until 2017.
In a statement to players cited by AussieFaithful, players have been advised the league will now start in October 2017 due to “project deliverables out of our control” falling behind schedule.
And just like that, it's all yanked out from underneath you
— Coph_79 (@BenCopher) August 1, 2016
No wriggle room to shift season
With the tight window for stadium availability and TV coverage, shifting the season a few weeks was not possible as venues would no longer be available.
A shortened season was something available to the NGL, but with the season only featuring seven games per team as it is, this was deemed unfavorable also.
teams will their right retained until February 2017
The players have been advised teams will their right retained until February 2017 at which point they may be offered new player contracts for the teams they had signed with, or placed back into the NGL player pool.
It is our understanding coaches recently announced as arriving by the NGL will continue to do so, and will shift their focus onto league development for season 2017.
New investment touched on in our in-depth look at the NGL funding model may also see some changes to franchises before the start of the season in 2017.
Reaction to AussieFaithful from players and family has been mixed at best.
The override emotion is disappointment for current players looking forward to continuing, or for many, starting their professional careers.
Coaches are feeling the brunt of angry players in what is going to be a difficult time for the league.
Some however have accepted the reality of a venture this size and have thrown their support behind the delay.
Everyone at Gridiron Victoria is sorry to see the NGL pushed back a year but know it is for the right reasons…. https://t.co/d3zBIaL4e3
— Gridiron Victoria (@GridironVic) August 1, 2016
Others though have accepted the nature of the business and are already looking elsewhere for opportunities until next season.
— Dylan Young (@DY_Lee11) August 1, 2016
Meanwhile players not signed to the league are already contacted AussieFaithful asking how to apply for season 2017.
Yep, welcome to the “business” of professional sport.
More on this as it develops.