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FFA reform promise appeases A-League clubs

FFA reform promise appeases A-League clubs
February 3, 2017
Legal / Sport /

Having met with Gianni Infantino, President of world football governing body FIFA, this week, Football Federation Australia (FFA) has agreed to meet deadlines for implementing new governance measures.

As a result, the FFA will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to expand its Congress ahead of a FIFA-imposed deadline of 31st March.

The FFA has been under pressure from FIFA to expand membership of its 10-member Congress, which has representatives from the country's nine states and territories but just one delegate for all 10 professional A-League clubs and no representatives from the women’s game.

The clubs, represented by the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA), warned this week against any attempts by the FFA to delay or circumvent the "long-overdue" reforms during the meeting with Infantino.

Having denied that their visit to FIFA’s headquarters in Switzerland was an attempt to slow down the process, in a statement released today (3rd February), FFA Chairman Steven Lowy said he and Chief Executive David Gallop, Head of Legal Jo Setright and international strategist Mark Falvo had held "constructive discussions regarding the process of expanding the membership of its Congress which would allow for a broader representation of stakeholders.”

The statement added "FFA indicated its intention to hold further discussions with stakeholders [including Member Federations, Hyundai A-League clubs and the PFA] in coming weeks with a view to implementing membership changes through an Extraordinary General Meeting of its members by the end of March. 

 

Having complained about the FFA’s lack of contact with professional clubs earlier in the week, at statement from t​he APFCA welcomend the FFA’s statement but called for transparency.

The statement advised “we welcome the FFA’s statement that it will now honour its September 2016 commitment to engage stakeholders of the Australian game and expand the FFA congress by the end of March 2017.

​​“Our members are committed to a meaningful and transparent process and an outcome that creates the appropriate democratic representation of the whole football family.’’

The Congress elects the FFA board and the A-League clubs, who say the professional game is responsible for up to 80% of FFA revenue, are keen for broader representation to be in place before the election of two new members.

In the last major reconfiguration of the nine-member FFA board in 2015, Lowy was elected unopposed to replace his father Frank as Chairman while three other directors, a lawyer and two bankers, were handed three-year terms.

Having complained about the FFA’s lack of contact with professional clubs earlier in the week, at statement from t​he APFCA welcomend the FFA’s statement but called for transparency.

The statement advised “we welcome the FFA’s statement that it will now honour its September 2016 commitment to engage stakeholders of the Australian game and expand the FFA congress by the end of March 2017.

​​“Our members are committed to a meaningful and transparent process and an outcome that creates the appropriate democratic representation of the whole football family.’’

Professional Footballers Association Chief Executive John Didulica said they were prepared for reform, stating “the PFA is encouraged that FFA and FIFA discussed the expansion of its membership constructively.

“Over the past month we have discussed the current governance model of Australian football and potential reforms with our ​executive and delegates and have subsequently briefed all our members who are looking forward to getting involved in the process.”

Steven Lowy said the meeting with senior FIFA officials was "a further reminder of the goodwill and respect that exists between FIFA and FFA" and that Infantino had agreed to visit Australia this year.

“It was important to illustrate the growth and development of the game in Australia and in particular to outline football’s opportunities and challenges in the uniquely competitive environment of Australian sport. We came away confident that we will be able to move quickly to put in place some changes to our structure that will set the game up for further success in the years ahead.

"We came away confident that we will be able to move quickly to put in place some changes to our structure that will set the game up for further success in the years ahead." 

Main image: 2016/17 season A-League action between Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Central Coast Mariners Image courtesy of Damian Briggs Photography.

30th January 2017 - A-LEAGUE CLUB OWNERS UNHAPPY AT FFA’S VISIT TO FIFA


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