No consensus reached in FFA congress war

By Vince Rugari, Vince Rugari is a Roar Guru

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    Soccer’s civil war is no closer to resolution despite the nine state federations coming to an agreement on how Football Federation Australia’s congress should be structured.

    It’s understood the majority of the state federations have endorsed a 15-seat congress model — one that could potentially save FFA chairman Steven Lowy and his board from being disbanded by FIFA and replaced by a normalisation committee.

    The 9-4-1-1 proposal would see the states retain nine votes with four for the A-League clubs, one for the PFA and one for women’s football.

    That model, however, has been suggested previously and was swiftly rejected by the A-League clubs and the PFA, who believe it does nothing to change the balance of power and are angling for at least one extra vote.

    It’s also understood some state federations won’t agree to an extraordinary general meeting of FFA to bring about congress change until total consensus is struck.

    Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin — who also heads the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association — reiterated his opposition on Wednesday.

    “The position of the state federations represents one third of the stakeholders that FIFA and AFC have required to reach consensus,” Griffin told AAP.

    “The clubs and the PFA do not accept the 9-4-1-1 congress vote that the federations are putting forward which is designed to ensure that they remain in control of the electoral process for board positions on the FFA.

    “All we have here is the federations, which already have a completely unreasonable amount of control of the congress, putting a proposal that maintains that position which offends FIFA statutes.

    “If that proposal is put forward by Mr Lowy at an EGM of the FFA, then it will breach the directions of FIFA and AFC and inevitably lead to the appointment of a normalisation committee.”

    There are only 10 seats in the current FFA congress — nine for the state federations and one for the A-League clubs.

    FIFA believes that structure is undemocratic and has told FFA to reform the congress before November 30 or it will intervene.

    A visiting FIFA/AFC delegation failed to solve the issue last month at an ugly and chaotic meeting of all stakeholders in Sydney and later said it was up to the state federations, clubs and PFA to find consensus together.

    Meanwhile, FFA is still at risk from court action from the A-League clubs, who are demanding to see the sport’s full financial records — including those relating to Australia’s failed bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

    It’s believed FFA has proposed only a partial disclosure of their finances, an offer that was turned down in a letter written by Griffin on behalf of the clubs on Tuesday.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • September 14th 2017 @ 8:47am
      Lionheart said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      We just want this fixed Mr Lowy.

    • September 14th 2017 @ 9:34am
      Mike said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

      Lowy must go. His appointment was pure nepotism.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 1:55pm
        saul said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

        100% agree

    • September 14th 2017 @ 6:26pm
      pacman said | September 14th 2017 @ 6:26pm | ! Report

      We should be careful what we wish for. Not condoning Stephen Lowy’s appointment – it was plain wrong!

      But, if we back the A-League’s clubs push for more power, and with it more money, just be aware that is unlikely that they will be overly concerned with the progress of our international teams, or the funding of those teams.

      It is probably time for the A-League to become independent from FFA. There will certainly be obstacles to overcome. Current media deals are with FFA, not the A-League, so it would be an interesting exercise to observe the mediation involved in achieving a consensus. The lawyers will make a small fortune, which will be unfortunate, given the FFA and most A-League clubs are struggling to make ends meet. The last thing they need is to fork out endless bundles of cash to the legal industry.

      • September 15th 2017 @ 12:59pm
        Nemesis said | September 15th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

        It’s only a guess, but I’d assume the media deals are with “The ALeague Pty Ltd” (ACN 060 527 755).

        If this is correct, there would be no contractual difficulties & the ALeague could become independent with the stroke of a pen.

        • September 15th 2017 @ 3:02pm
          pacman said | September 15th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

          Nem, if we can believe the reports fed to us by the media, your guess might be incorrect. If the deals were between the media and A-League Pty Ltd, one would think the revenue would go directly to that company, with FFA holding its hand out for a share. Consider the following news release:

          Then, the following extract from that media release.

          “Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh said: “Foxtel is thrilled to be continuing our long standing partnership with FFA”


          • September 15th 2017 @ 3:16pm
            Nemesis said | September 15th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

            But the FFA have total (100%) ownership of “The ALeague Pty Ltd”. So, Peter Tonagh is correct. Bit like if I’m a supplier I might say “I deal with Woolworths”, but, in reality, my contract will most likely be be with a company that is a fully-owned subsidiary; not the parent company: “Woolworths Ltd”.

            • September 15th 2017 @ 4:11pm
              pacman said | September 15th 2017 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

              Fair enough, although Peter Tonagh said, apparently: “Foxtel is thrilled to be continuing our long standing partnership with FFA” (not A-League Pty Ltd). Does anyone outside the inner sanctum really know?

              • September 15th 2017 @ 4:31pm
                pacman said | September 15th 2017 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

                Nem, disregard my last post. In a hurry, and didn’t give enough thought to my input.


      • September 15th 2017 @ 2:24pm
        Mark said | September 15th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

        Also, if the A-League and its clubs operated independently of the FFA, there would be less need to increase the representation of A-League clubs on the FFA board.

        • September 16th 2017 @ 12:46am
          Waz said | September 16th 2017 @ 12:46am | ! Report

          There would. And then we could move to a congress of say 50-60 votes which would be about right.

          • September 17th 2017 @ 7:07pm
            Mark said | September 17th 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

            Why? Anyone who has ever been involved in any committee or board knows that they should be the minimum size necessary to adequately represent all stakeholders and contain necessary expertise.

            With the size of football in Australia and organization of the stakeholders, there is no reason whatsoever why the FFA congress should be anywhere near 50-60 people.

            12-15 people should be sufficient. The current issue is the state federations shouldn’t make up a majority of the congress.

            If the FFA congress must include representatives of all stakeholders, which is currently what the state federations are supposed to do, then the state federations should just be abolished and the game administered nationally.

    • September 16th 2017 @ 5:41pm
      Neil said | September 16th 2017 @ 5:41pm | ! Report

      I fear for football in Oz if the A League Clubs get control, it will be back to the future. The Lowy’s and the FFA board aren’t perfect but the game has been light years ahead in the last 10 years than the 50 years before the FFA.

      • September 16th 2017 @ 9:29pm
        pacman said | September 16th 2017 @ 9:29pm | ! Report

        I agree with you Neil, hence my earlier post. Football will survive, but I suspect the Socceroos FIFA ranking will gradually decline, and result in us becoming even more insignificant on the world stage. As a consequence, football in this country will survive, but that’s about it.

        Very similar to the EPL and English football, although through sheer weight of numbers, England will almost always be able to assemble a half reasonable squad.

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