FFA, A-League owners join forces

Liam FitzGibbon Roar Guru

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    Football Federation Australia and A-League club owners have agreed on the formation of a new strategic committee to govern how the competition is run.

    Follow an historic meeting of owners in Sydney on Thursday, FFA announced the creation of the joint A-League Strategic Committee (JALSC), to be chaired by FFA deputy chairman Brian Schwartz.

    Two other FFA directors and three A-League club chairmen – decided by the clubs – will be appointed to the six-member body, which will meet every two months.

    Thursday’s meeting came after growing concern from club owners over the lack of transparency and accountability of the governing body and a desire to have more say in how the league is run.

    FFA chairman Frank Lowy said there was now a “united stance” while FFA chief executive Ben Buckley believed the formation of the committee would given the game’s investors the hands-on role they desired.

    “I think it will go a long way to addressing the issues they have about having a more direct say into the policy formation of the A-League,” Buckley said.

    “That was our purpose from the outset in establishing it and, pleasingly, I think the owners were positive in their response to the sort of matters the committee would look at and the decision making authority it would have.”

    The scope of matters to be considered by the JALSC will include the competition’s structure and schedule, revenue growth strategies, player contract regulations, salary cap and community engagement strategies.

    Buckley said the situation at Gold Coast United was discussed on Thursday but no decisions had been made on the future of the embattled club.

    “What we said was we’re still reviewing our position there,” Buckley said.

    “We know there is some interest from prospective local investors and we’ll formulate our view on that over the course of the next few weeks.”

    United’s future may not hinge solely on the ability to find new backers, however, with Buckley saying FFA was also assessing whether it was worth persisting with a team in the city.

    “We have to assess whether there is a viable supporter base on the Gold Coast to support a team … and is there a group of individuals who have the financial capacity, and the management acumen and commitment to make a team successful on the Gold Coast?,” he said.

    Buckley said opportunities for a western Sydney franchise would not be explored until a decision had been made on Gold Coast and did not rule out the possibility the league could feature only nine teams next season.

    Buckley said the meeting had resolved on Thursday to maintain the club quota of foreign players at five for next season, with the rule to be reviewed beyond 2012/13.

    Speaking on behalf of club owners, Central Coast Mariners chairman Peter Turnbull welcomed the changes made.

    “This committee will provide a meaningful opportunity to direct the development of policy and strategy for the competition,” Turnbull said.

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • March 30th 2012 @ 9:25am
      Kasey said | March 30th 2012 @ 9:25am | ! Report

      Just waiting for the negative nelly’s to find a ‘hole’ in this.

      • March 30th 2012 @ 11:44am
        pete4 said | March 30th 2012 @ 11:44am | ! Report

        That’s right… completely different to what the Daily Telegraph has been reporting in the past few days

        • March 30th 2012 @ 11:47am
          Midfielder said | March 30th 2012 @ 11:47am | ! Report

          The TerrOR is no friend of Football …

          • March 30th 2012 @ 12:01pm
            Kasey said | March 30th 2012 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

            Never has been likely never will be. remember the Cahill at a nightclub saga? what a joke from Rothfield. I read that Rothfield is tweeting now that he watched Sydney FC on a semiregular basis, once even flipped over from the T20 BigBash that was on the other channel.

    • March 30th 2012 @ 11:44am
      Midfielder said | March 30th 2012 @ 11:44am | ! Report

      My understanding this has been around for a long time… just be interesting to hear the football inside nay sayers now…

      As a side issue two weeks or so ago BB was interviewed on Fox [16:30 minutes] ….. he was relaxed the questions were many.. many very difficult questions… they listed and moved to the next question… TBH it was an interview an older SBS would have done, friendly welcoming, probing and questioning, but very respectful … I wonder aloud if the SBS of today could do a similar thing …

    • March 30th 2012 @ 11:54am
      Dinoweb said | March 30th 2012 @ 11:54am | ! Report

      The overall development sounds good to me, interesting how quickly it all came about after the Clive Palmer outburst.

      I find it somewhat disturbing though that four weeks after revoking Clive Palmers licence, they still have not developed a firm position on the situation of Gold Coast United. Given that the livelyhoods of staff and players hang in the balance, this should be the highest priority matter on the FFA agenda.

      • March 30th 2012 @ 12:35pm
        PeterK said | March 30th 2012 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

        Agree, Dinoweb. It is most urgent.

        I can see that FFA want to be careful — once bitten …! But I reckon it’s important enough for FFA to be considering it for an hour or two every day, and a decision should not take too long. And I hope FFA can get this one right — the damage to public image done by losing a club from a region is immense.

        I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to at least consider giving GCU one year’s probation to start getting people to games, but only provided the financials are in place. That would also give FFA another year in which to invite anywhere and everywhere (not just W Sydney) to put together a bid which might or might not be accepted if GCU have to then fold. Of course, if the new GCU does not have the financials in place then it should not be allowed to continue.

    • March 30th 2012 @ 12:28pm
      PeterK said | March 30th 2012 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

      This is a magnificent outcome from Clive P’s rabid comments.

      The composition of the committee seems to me to be perfect. Let’s hope its opinions carry some weight.

      Transparency — now there’s a good idea!
      And fancy having those taking part in a comp having some say in how it’s structured and run! And some say in ideas for revenue and community engagement.

      Although I might sound a bit cynical (above), I’m actually very very pleased at the setting up of this committee. It might have taken seven years, but it’s good to see that we can get it right eventually. I do hope its opinions carry some weight.

    • March 30th 2012 @ 1:00pm
      Nathan of Perth said | March 30th 2012 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

      As the First World War raged, the French had been suffering such stupendous casualties, sending a generation down La Voie Sacree to Verdun, that in 1917 the infantry mutinied.

      The mutineers made many demands that had to be met before their units would ever go on the attack again. In the political fall-out, the mutineers were all put before walls and executed.

      Their demands, however, survived their demise and most of the change needed by the French infantry was implemented.

      It seems that though we have executed our waddling idiot of a mutineer in a footballing sense, the required reforms have lived on.

    • March 30th 2012 @ 1:35pm
      Ben of Phnom Penh said | March 30th 2012 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

      It all seems rather positive and I am sure that the vast majority of us are happy with the result. I believe the independence of the A-League needs further progression however this is a very positive step in the right direction.

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