New Zealand Football are making arrangements to have alternative teams play in the NZFC if franchises pull out at the last minute.

It's understood the national body is determined to avoid a repeat of last year's scramble when a handful of teams, led by Team Wellington and Waikato FC, said they were struggling to make the start line because of financial difficulties.

In the end, a compromise was reached by reducing the length of the league from 21 rounds to 14. This year's competition, due to kick off in November, is again 14 rounds.

Despite the reduced costs of a shortened competition, franchises are still struggling to raise the approximately $200,000 to $400,000 needed to fund an NZFC team. The $65,000 entry fee was due last week with all teams meeting this except Manawatu, who were given an extension until the 28th when they received trust funding.

In June, Canterbury reversed an earlier decision about withdrawing when they realised they couldn't play in the youth league if they didn't field a senior team. Now other franchises are increasingly questioning their ability to play in the NZFC but NZF will play hardball with them.

In the past it was hard to do this if they didn't have alternatives ready to step in at short notice.

Last week a syndicate from North Shore and another from Manukau were approached and asked if they could step in at late notice if one of the eight franchises withdrew. Frantic efforts were made to see if this was possible.

Allan Jones, who won three titles with Auckland City, was approached to coach the North Shore side and there was confidence there were enough players around to put together a competitive squad.

This season is the final one in the five-year licences for each franchise and NZF are undertaking a major review of their competition structures, including the national league. Significant changes like reverting to a winter league and a club competition complete with promotion/relegation are being considered.

Meanwhile, Auckland City have given up their chase of a former Brazilian first division coach to take the side this season. Paul Posa will continue as head coach, with support from Ramon Tribulietx and Steve Sarich. It is the outcome Auckland wanted in the first place but Posa indicated at the end of last season that work and family commitments would make it impossible for him to continue as head coach.

"Paul is pretty happy to do it now," Auckland chairman Ivan Vucksich said. "He was always going to be involved in some way and with Ramon and Steve they will form a good team.

"I just couldn't rely on [the Brazilian]. It was a case of sight unseen and, while people look good on paper, it was too much of a risk. It's an ongoing thing and we might be able to get something together next year."