A European-style campaign where every club plays each other home and away once is looming as the most likely way ahead for the Tasmanian soccer season.
Football Tasmania hosted an online meeting of club presidents this week and while a three-round season was discussed, the general consensus appeared to favour the shorter option.
FT chief executive Matt Bulkeley and competitions manager Glen McNeill called the meeting which also debated what to do about the statewide cup and Tasmania's involvement in the FFA Cup.
Both of Launceston's NPL clubs - Riverside Olympic and Launceston City - favoured a 14-week season combined with canning the statewide Lakoseljac Cup for the year and were against playing games behind closed doors.
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Presidents from more than 20 clubs were involved with Northern Rangers, Launceston United and North Launceston Eagles also represented.
A three-round NPL Tasmania and Northern Championship season would not finish until December and some clubs were concerned about sharing grounds and players with cricket and other summer sports.
The two-round season option was considered preferable as it could be wrapped up by the end of October.
With the suggested timeframe for returning, clubs could resume some degree of training from next Monday (May 18) but games would be unlikely to start until July 11.
FT is planning to meet with Sport and Recreation to work out what health and safety measures would need to be put in place.
Clubs were concerned that the option of playing with no crowds was not viable and the meeting also discussed what impact the coronavirus-enforced break would have on playing fees, sponsorships and fund-raising functions for the year.
Riverside president Stuart McCarron said there were plenty of positive signs for some form of season to be played.
"I think people are more positive that we are going to get a season and it is going to start in July," he said.
"The length may be still up in the air but the majority of people seem to favour a two-round season. I think that's fair and I think FT are OK with that although they would probably prefer three rounds if they could get it in.
"But I just don't think that's practical with other sports being played and there is still concern with the number of clubs here and in Hobart with grounds they have to share with cricket.
"A two-round season would be only 14 weeks which is short but would get us to a reasonable amount of games.
"If you finish in December and start next season in March, pre-season would have to be January so you would not have a break at all and I think we need a break of some description. If it's slightly shorter than normal we can all accept that as the times we're living in."
It makes sense and the best of a bad situationDanny Linger
City's vice-president Danny Linger also favoured the shorter season.
"We need the season to finish by the end of October for a whole range of reasons," he said.
"We have been trying to cooperate with summer codes to push into their season given what we've had to absorb and the response has been receptive.
"We support the 14-round season. It makes sense and the best of a bad situation.
"And if we cannot have spectators it does not comply with our business model. The NPL licence fee is quite substantial and that's how we make out money to survive.
"It's still early days and we're still crunching numbers and trying to get our heads around everything."
McCarron and Linger also believed the statewide cup should be called off as it would prolong the season into mid-November.
"We're down to the last 16 now so nearly all Championship teams would have three byes which I don't think is OK," McCarron said. "And I think Tasmania should make a decision to say we're not in the FFA Cup this year."