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New FFA constitution agreed in extraordinary general meeting vote
A two-year struggle within Football Federation Australia (FFA) appears to be over with its Board of Directors accepting constitutional changes at an extraordinary general meeting held today in Sydney.
With State Federations and the FFA board’s sole current A-League representative voting 8-2 to back the reform process that will see an expanded Congress, Steven Lowy's tenure as Chairman - and his family's 15-year term in leading football in Australia football - is set to end.
Lowy confirmed he will resign from his role in a press conference after the result of the meeting's vote.
Under the new FFA model, member federations will receive 55 votes, A-League clubs 28, the PFA seven and a newly established Women’s Football Council 10.
In a separate vote, the Federations voted unanimously for the A-League to be separate from the game's governing body - a change which will occur on 31st March.
The FFA Board voted on two resolutions.
The first Resolution was to amend the Constitution of the FFA to give effect to recommendations made by the Congress Review Working Group. This resolution was passed, with eight votes in favour and two against.
The second Resolution was intended to set up a process to consider and propose a new Leagues governance model. This resolution was passed unanimously.
This will see independent governance for the A-League, likely to start as of the 2019/20 season.
Lowy said while he was disappointed with some aspects of the vote, it respects the right of members to give effect to their views through today’s vote.
Lowy advised “these are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of our sport and I encourage the football community to work together and act in the best interests of the game as a whole.
“Today’s vote means I will carry through with my stated intention not to seek re-election at the upcoming AGM.”
In addition, the threat of intervention in the management of the game in Australia by world football governing body FIFA looks to have been averted.
Having previously instructed FFA to grow its Congress - one of the smallest in world football – FIFA issued a final, blunt reminder on the eve of the key vote.
FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura wrote to Lowy to say that FIFA "clearly anticipates that the proposed changes to the FFA Constitutions will be adopted at tomorrow's EGM".
The vote means that the Socceroos and Matildas can progress to their upcoming tournaments free of the fear of suspension.
A new Congress should convene next month for the first time to elect new directors.
However, the changes may delay the A-League expansion process, which was supposed to select two new teams to enter the competition later this month.
Those decisions could now be delayed.
Key changes in the FFA's governance:
• The expanded Congress will have 29 different members with weighted votes. This includes;
• Nine member federations (combining for 55% of the vote)
• Nine A-League representatives (28%)
• 10 members of the Women's Council, including three player representatives (10%)
• One player representative (7%)
• New standing committees
• New reporting standards to improve transparency of FFA's books
• Intent to have 'full participation' of women at all levels of governance
Images: Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC in action in 2016. Courtest of Damian Briggs Photography.
1st October 2018 - FFA members reach governance agreement in advance of general meeting
17th September 2018 - FFA looks to introduce new A-League fan engagement initiatives
7th September 2018 - Sport Australia Chief Executive intervenes in FFA governance dispute
28th August 2018 - FFA promotes former Matilda to participation management role
23rd August 2018 - FIFA agrees Working Group’s recommended FFA governance reforms
17th August 2018 - Steven Lowy set to quit FFA Chairman’s role
14th August 2018 - FIFA-backed congress group dismisses FFA’s reform concerns
8th August 2018 - FFA looks to block Working Group’s governance proposals
14th May 2018 - New program to help develop up and coming Matildas
4th April 2018 - Independent chairperson to lead FFA reform
21st February 2018 - A-League clubs warn of competition collapse
6th February 2018 - Federal Government provides $4 million for FFA’s Womens World Cup bid
7th December 2017 - FFA Board avoids dismissal as FIFA agrees to lead stakeholder negotiations
16th July 2017 - AAFC Board kicks off plan for national expansion of FFA competitions
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