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Chris Nikou elected as FFA’s new chairman
Chris Nikou has been elected to succeed embattled Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chairman Steven Lowy. Lowy announced back in August that he did not intend to seek reelection when his term expired this month.
Nikou is a Melbourne-based lawyer with previous FFA board experience having been a former Melbourne Victory Director. He was elected as one of four new directors on the FFA board at a lengthy annual general meeting in Sydney early Monday afternoon before being announced as Lowy’s replacement.
Nikou was appointed alongside former Soccer Australia Chairman Remo Nogarotto, PricewaterhouseCoopers Managing Partner Joseph Carrozzi and women's football pioneer Heather Reid.
Reid (pictured above), who ran ACT's Capital Football for 12 years, attracted more than 90% of the votes in the opening ballot to be the best-supported candidate and has been named as FFA’s deputy chair.
Nikou, Reid, Nogarotto and Carrozi join incumbents Kelly Bayer Rosmarin and Crispin Murray for the new-look board.
Keen to leave the past behind, Nikou stated "the less we talk about administrators [the] better. Let's get back to football ... It's important we put the line in the sand and focus on what we can do."
Nikou said the FFA could not be "everything to everybody" but he was keen to fast-track A-League expansion talks with the new-look board now in place. Nikou said his most immediate concern was expansion of the A-League, with the board needing to make a quick call on the identity of the two new clubs if they are to join the competition next season.
"Expansion is probably the number one priority the new board needs to address," he said.
"What I'd like to see happen is the new board members get given a proper and detailed briefing of the merits of each of the bids and as soon as we can get through that process it will be the first order of business for the new board.
"I'd certainly like to see it for the following A-League season if we can - it won't be through lack of trying."
Lowy’s decision to not renominate for the role came as he and members of the FFA board were fighting corporate governance changes sought by world football governing body FIFA, with Lowy having objected to recommendations from a FIFA-appointed Congress Review Working Group (CRWG).
Lowy and his father Frank Lowy, the billionaire Westfield co-founder, have been involved in promoting and investing in the sport for more than 50 years.
Speaking to Fox Sports, Lowy advised "I've decided I won't seek re-election when my term is up at the end of November.
"I had to make a decision by the end of September, but I thought it very important to let the football community know as early as possible that I've made that choice."
Seeking a model that will see state federations maintain control of the game in Australia, Lowy has been committed to preserving the independence of the FFA board which he sees as being critical to the game’s future success.
Lowy offered his best wishes to the new board members, saying it was his "fervent hope" the game developed domestically in the coming years.
He concluded "I wish the incoming custodians of our great game the very best in realising the enormous potential of football in Australia."
Ros Moriarty was confirmed as the FFA's women's football council independent chair.
Images: Chris Nikou (top), Heather Reid (middle) and Stephen Lowy (below).
2nd October 2018 - New FFA constitution agreed in extraordinary general meeting vote
1st October 2018 - FFA members reach governance agreement in advance of general meeting
17th August 2018 - Steven Lowy set to quit FFA Chairman’s role
30th March 2018 - Clubs unhappy at lack of FFA consultation over A-League expansion plans
21st February 2018 - A-League clubs warn of competition collapse
16th July 2017 - AAFC Board kicks off plan for national expansion of FFA competitions
3rd May 2017 - A-League clubs reject ‘inadequate’ FFA funding offer
30th January 2017 - A-League club owners unhappy at FFA’s visit to FIFA
21st August 2012 - David Gallop to replace Ben Buckley as FFA CEO
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