FFA’s congress review saga set to drag on

By Vince Rugari, Vince Rugari is a Roar Guru

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    Sweeping governance changes proposed for Football Federation Australia by a FIFA-backed working group appear likely to fall at the first hurdle.

    Tuesday is the deadline for the eight-member congress review working group to submit their document to the world governing body on how FFA’s membership should be expanded to comply with FIFA statutes.

    FIFA has directed its proposal be adopted at an FFA special general meeting by September 7.

    However, AAP understands a furious late lobbying effort from FFA has all but ensured the working group’s changes will be blocked if they go to a vote.

    An amendment to FFA’s constitution is required to pass the changes, which means 75 per cent of the current 10-member congress must vote in favour.

    FFA has convinced Capital Football and Football Federation Northern Territory to vote against it, and they are believed to be supported by at least one other state federation.

    Those three votes are enough to block the changes.

    FFA’s position, and that of the state federations in their corner, is that the working group’s recommendations would tip the balance of power too far in the favour of A-League clubs, putting at risk the proportion of funding currently allocated to grassroots football and youth national teams.

    FFA is also unhappy that the structure of the congress working group does not account for the views of the state federations who are not part of it.

    The clubs believe they generate the majority of FFA’s revenue and are therefore entitled to a larger slice of it.

    Should the working group’s proposal not be adopted, the ball will effectively be back in FIFA’s court.

    FIFA had the opportunity to sack chairman Steven Lowy and FFA’s board and replace it with a ‘normalisation committee’ in November 2017 when the last deadline for governance change was not met.

    It chose instead to establish the congress review working group in a last-ditch attempt to force a diplomatic solution.

    With that now doomed to fail, the big question is what FIFA will do next. Normalisation appears to be its only remaining option, but that could be met with potential legal action from FFA.

    FIFA did not respond to a request for comment from AAP on Tuesday, nor did the chairmen of Capital Football and FFNT.

    The irony is that the latest skirmishes have come at a time when collaboration between FFA and the clubs is at its highest point in the last few years.

    Other working groups have been formed and are operating cordially to discuss topics such as marquee players, a new collective bargaining agreement for players and the feasibility of a national second division.

    But while executives in those two camps might be on good terms, the relationships between Lowy and the A-League club owners remains strained.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (80)

    • Roar Rookie

      July 31st 2018 @ 5:02pm
      Stevo said | July 31st 2018 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

      So FFA is working cordially on some issues making it appear that they’re listening while simultaneously blocking moves for substantial reform to governance. Politics 101

    • July 31st 2018 @ 5:02pm
      MQ said | July 31st 2018 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

      Hands up if anyone honestly didn’t foresee this happening? You didn’t think a particular family clan was just going to relinquish the reins of power without a fight did you?

      Can you imagine how easy it would be to keep two tiny federations like Canberra and the NT onside? Only one other federation is needed to defeat any vote to change the constitution. Which ones are the next smallest? Northern NSW? Tassie? SA perhaps? Only needs one more.

      Ok, so FIFA will put a Normalisation Committee in place, just like it did the first chance it had. Hang on, wait, no, actually, they didn’t put it in place the first chance they had? Why? Because the threat of legal action had already been made, at least implicitly.

      How would Australian courts react? I’m pretty confident that they would swing behind backing the legality of the current constitution, meaning FIFA would have to take quite drastic action to proceed.

      • July 31st 2018 @ 5:39pm
        Nemesis said | July 31st 2018 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

        FIFA is the global authority.

        If FFA attempts to take this to court, FIFA will simply suspend the FFA & set up its own Federation.

        Every player registered with the FFA will not be recognised by FIFA. Neither will all the clubs.

        Most likely the ALeague owners will simple start a new competition that’s recognised by the FIFA accredited Association – albeit under new names & all existing FFA contracts will be void.

        • July 31st 2018 @ 7:22pm
          MQ said | July 31st 2018 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

          Yes, did you see those two words in the last sentence? “drastic action”

          Yes, it’s a game of brinksmanship, and that’s what the family clan will risk to retain power.

          I take it you are in agreement then that FIFA cannot takeover the FFA as such (contrary to what many soccer fans believe). The FFA must continue operating within its constitution and any change to the FFA’s voting structure, as the legal entity currently exists, must be done pursuant to its constitution. FIFA has zero power in that respect (zero legal power within Australia, they obviously have the capacity to influence the various factions involved).

          But you are correct, they have recourse to “drastic action”.

          • July 31st 2018 @ 7:45pm
            Nemesis said | July 31st 2018 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

            I’m just focused on outcomes & solutions. The process is irrelevant.

            I want the solution/outcome that FIFA has demanded.

            How we get that solution?

            Like all major change for any major organisation, change can be: easy, or complicated. It can be calm, or messy.

            That’s life.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 31st 2018 @ 7:58pm
            Waz said | July 31st 2018 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

            MQ

            FIFA doesn’t need legal power in Australia. It merely has to suspend the FFA from membership of FIFA and Australia loses right to compete in all competitions both international and club, and a loss of revenue exceeding $10m/year.

            As a result Australia would be dumped from the Asian Cup, World Cup and all forms of FIFA competition including little trips by clubs such as Chelsea.

            The FFA is non compliant with FIFA membership and has been for 7 years+. The only question now is who is going to do what? Personally I wouldn’t like to call it, I don’t think FIFA has got the bottle to impose a normalisation committee so what happens instead?

            The money sits not with the Lowy’s but with CFG, so what will they do?

            • July 31st 2018 @ 8:10pm
              Nemesis said | July 31st 2018 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

              “I don’t think FIFA has got the bottle to impose a normalisation committee”

              Why do you say that? FIFA has suspended countries that are far more powerful than Australia. FIFA has suspended Australia before, they won’t be scared about doing it again.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 31st 2018 @ 9:28pm
                Waz said | July 31st 2018 @ 9:28pm | ! Report

                I’m not convinced they’re up for the fight this time. They had the chance to implement a normalisation committee a few months ago but didn’t … I think they’ll go the same way again.

              • July 31st 2018 @ 10:09pm
                MQ said | July 31st 2018 @ 10:09pm | ! Report

                Precisely, FIFA already had the chance to set up the Normalisation Committee, but chose not to, most probably because of the threat of litigation (which Lowy would win in the Australian courts).

                This is what I am saying – FIFA does NOT have the authority to take over the FFA under Australian law. It can make lots of threats about lots of things (such as suspending Australia as a member), but it cannot make unilateral changes to the FFA constitution and/or congress structure.

                Such threats can be influential, but equally, as we speak, a certain family clan has convinced the smaller federations that they will lose out on funding if the voting structure is changed (so which threat is more important to them?) The family clan only needs to keep the three smallest federations onside to stymie any vote.

                Looking at it now, how the FFA and congress was set up was brilliant (if your goal is to keep it all in the family) – no doubt years of running a very successful family company came in handy.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 31st 2018 @ 10:55pm
                Waz said | July 31st 2018 @ 10:55pm | ! Report

                MQ

                You miss the point. To be a member of FIFA you have to comply with FIFA regulations, the FFA don’t. Australian law doesn’t even come into that debate – FIFA can just suspend Australia.

                You also have to appreciate that FIFA won’t care if Australia are frozen out of world football for a year or ten years, they have another 200+ countries playing the game. So they’ll happily suspend Australia and say come back when you’re ready.

                If that happens the clubs will use Australian law against FFA/lowy as he will then be in breach of his contractual agreements ie the ffa sold A League licences under the FIFA umberella they no longer have … and, as basically all the players can walk away from the clubs when they’re suspended and there can be no transfer fees, the loss of revenue is huge and clubs can claim compensation.

                The FFA would most likely collapse due to the combined loss of revenue from FIFA and the massive legal costs.

                And the final irony is this, the A League clubs may be stuck but the State Federations aren’t. Most likely NSW and Vic would resign from FFA and reform under FIFA, the new league would consist of the very clubs Frank hated like Marconi, and sides with Croatia in their name, and football would carry on. Worse than before but we’ll go again …. and Frank will have to watch all the clubs he hates back in the limelight. South Melbourne will laugh him in to his grave …

              • August 1st 2018 @ 8:15am
                MQ said | August 1st 2018 @ 8:15am | ! Report

                No, I have not missed the point.

                Many soccer fans thought that FIFA can just take over the FFA, but quite clearly, that cannot happen under Australian law.

                Also it’s obvious that FIFA aren’t pursuing a Normalisation Committee, because once again, if it goes to through the courts, Lowy would win.

                Therefore, the only recourse FIFA has is “drastic action”.

                But that’s hardly a panacea is it?

              • August 1st 2018 @ 8:46am
                Nemesis said | August 1st 2018 @ 8:46am | ! Report

                If the FIFA does not get the outcome it approves, then the FIFA Normalisation Committee is a given.

                If FFA don’t comply with the decision to install a Normalisation Committee, the FFA will be suspended by FIFA.

                No ifs. No buts. No maybes.

                Australian corporate law is irrelevant if it comes to this. FFA is a member of an international organisation that is subject to Private International Law. I’ll have to check the FIFA Statutes to see if suspension can be challenged. But, if it is challenged, it will be in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) not in any Australian Court.

                Suspension will be messy at the start, but it might be the perfect solution to reboot Australian football the way it should be structured – diverse Congress, independent A-League competition, Promotion/Relegation.

                From what I’ve heard, a major global sports marketing & media organisation is waiting in the wings to inject significant capital and take over all the marketing & broadcast rights for the ALeague if the FFA is suspended and the ALeague clubs start their own competition.

              • August 1st 2018 @ 12:11pm
                MQ said | August 1st 2018 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

                Australian law is relevant to the extent that the change in the congress voting structure can only occur if there is a change to the constitution, and for the moment, that can’t happen because the family clan has four votes (the four smallest federations) in their back pocket.

                Many Australian soccer fans seem to think that FIFA can make this change unilaterally. It can’t. It’s as simple as that, it can’t do it.

                Yes, they can do a lot of other things, such as suspension, banning from tournaments, etc, etc – but it can’t make that change to the FFA constitution.

              • August 1st 2018 @ 12:23pm
                Nemesis said | August 1st 2018 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

                If FIFA steps in, they don’t need to change the FFA constitution, they simply create their own organisation with a new constitution.

                It will be more messy in the short term, but cleaner in the long term.

                The best things in life never come easily.

    • July 31st 2018 @ 10:38pm
      Midfielder said | July 31st 2018 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

      Well what can you say.

      Lowy OUT

      I tend to agree with Nem, if everyone agrees aside from FFA, then simply set up a new governing body with the same teams.

    • Roar Guru

      July 31st 2018 @ 11:08pm
      Cousin Claudio said | July 31st 2018 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

      Disappointing yes, but expected.
      Lets not panic.

      As pointed out elsewhere, FFA has until 7 September to resolve their differences with the owners and major stakeholders and until October to put the new structure in place.. That’s still 3 months away.

      This is the first step in the process. The FFA were always going to offer first up, less than what the detractors asked for and the owners were always going to ask for more than what they’d be happy with.

      There will be a series of negotiations to come to a compromise somewhere in the middle.
      All parties know that they have to agree in principle to an agreed solution, because neither side wants FIFA to run the A-League.

      I’d expect to see a revision of the offer and acceptance from both sides until a compromise is reached within the next 2 months.

      No need to worry un-necessarily, until FIFA actually steps in and takes over Australian football, which can’t happen before October, as per the agreed dispute resolution process.

      The A-League will kick off their season in October as expected.

      • August 1st 2018 @ 8:20am
        MQ said | August 1st 2018 @ 8:20am | ! Report

        The family clan has already shown that it will fight this to the nth degree, bring it all the way to the brink, and they only need three small federations to support them to stymie any change.

        FIFA can’t take over the A-League.

        As other have said, if the family clan holds firm, and Australia is suspended as a consequence, then a new structure would need to be established which would then need to seek re-admission into FIFA.

        Given the Commonwealth helped set up the FFA with generous funding, it would be interest to see how they would respond to having to set up another structure.

        • August 1st 2018 @ 9:46am
          Nemesis said | August 1st 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

          “FIFA can’t take over the A-League”

          FIFA won’t need to take over the A-League. When FIFA sets up a new org to administer football in Australia, FFA & all the competitions owned by FFA will not be allowed to have an sporting contact with any FIFA member.

          All the players contracts will become void. The ALeague Licence will become void and, most likely, given the FFA has breached its obligations to the Clubs under the Licence Agreement, the FFA will likely have to compensate the clubs for the Licence Fee and any other costs the court deems.

          The clubs will then either fold, or join the new competition that will be approved by FIFA.

          • August 1st 2018 @ 10:33am
            Kris said | August 1st 2018 @ 10:33am | ! Report

            Other than not being allowed to play in Internationals and Asian Cup there wouldn’t be any impact. You don’t have to be affiliated with FIFA to run a naitonal comp, and contract law is contract law.

            • August 1st 2018 @ 10:46am
              Nemesis said | August 1st 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

              At the most, the Australian players currently in the ALeague will only be able to play amongst themselves. And, any of the Aussie players who have any interest in playing for a National Team – senior, or junior – will not be allowed.

              It’s likely all foreign players in A-League will also be members of their home federation, so they’d have to resign membership in their home country, or they’d be on the plane home.

              It’s possible the NZL Federation won’t allow the NIX to play in New Zealand.

              And, the ALeague owners – who do not want to be in a competition run by the FFA – will be glad to form their own independent competition that is fully endorsed by FIFA and the new Association for Football in AUS.

              It’s likely all the State Feds will align with the new FIFA administration, so the FFA will have nothing to administer other than 1 competition called A-League that has 10 empty franchises & only mercenary players who have no interest in a career in football.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 1st 2018 @ 5:08pm
                Stevo said | August 1st 2018 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

                You make too much sense for some people. That in 2018 we would run a competition that was not FIFA compliant and all that flows from it is simply just mad. FFA would be the emperor without clothes.

              • Roar Guru

                August 1st 2018 @ 5:55pm
                Cousin Claudio said | August 1st 2018 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

                What does “FIFA compliant” mean.

                Most football competitions in the world are not run by independent commissioners but by Football Associations or Private companies with boards like the FFA.

                The English Football Association Premier League Ltd (FAPL) is operated as a private corporation and is owned by the 20 member clubs. Each club is a shareholder, with one vote each on issues such as rule changes and contracts.

          • August 1st 2018 @ 12:13pm
            MQ said | August 1st 2018 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

            You are confirming what I am saying: FIFA cannot take over the FFA and/or the A-League.

            It can do a lot of other things, such as forcing the game to go back to square one and start over, but it can’t take over the FFA and/.or the A-League.

            • August 1st 2018 @ 12:19pm
              Nemesis said | August 1st 2018 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

              Well, as I’ve outlined above, if FIFA steps in, the FFA has nothing except ownership of the ALeague competition, which will be worthless without FIFA endorsement.

              So, there’s really nothing to take over.

    • August 1st 2018 @ 10:28am
      Kris said | August 1st 2018 @ 10:28am | ! Report

      Think people are getting their hopes up naively. Does it really matter how the board are elected? The outcome will be the same.

      At the end of the day …

      1. We currently have 9 state reps and 1 A-League rep appointing a board who run the game
      2. The FFA propose 9 state reps, 4 A-League reps, 1 ref, 1 womens.
      3 The state leagues want 9 state reps, 5 A-League reps, 1 ref, 1 womens.

      FIFA isn’t going to suspend a federation because they can’t agree between model 2 and 3.

      • Roar Guru

        August 1st 2018 @ 11:34am
        Cousin Claudio said | August 1st 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

        Exactly.
        FIFA have not stipulated exactly what the triggers are to dissolve the FFA, apart from “both parties coming to an agreement”.
        What does that mean?
        As usual, FIFA are being vague, open to interpertation and corruption.

        It could be argued in a sporting tribunal that the FFA are doing all they can to come to an agreement under the current circumstances, and that the owners are being unreasonable with their demands.

        This could drag on for another year or more.
        FFA aren’t going to give up without a fight and in the meantime things will carry on as usual.

        The anti-sokka forces from within and without will make as big a meal of this as possible.

      • August 1st 2018 @ 7:27pm
        Nemesis said | August 1st 2018 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

        Model (2) & (3) as you’ve described has never been mentioned in any of the discussions over the past 12 months.

        There has never been mention of a 1 ref member. The only additional group on Congress that was suggested late last year were PFA members.

        Regardless, none of those models remotely fits the structure FIFA has mandated.

    • Roar Pro

      August 1st 2018 @ 10:48am
      Brendo51 said | August 1st 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      It’s a interesting situation and I agree with Nem that in the end the cards will be stacked in favour of FIFA as they simply have to “Not Recognise FFA” and the house of cards comes tumbling down.

      I would caution people to be careful what you wish for. Although I do think Lowry and the a lot of the board care more about holding onto power than what is best for the game there should be genuine concern about handing too much power to the current A-League clubs.

      The FFA should have spun the A-League out into its own separate governance structure when it had a chance. There is a real danger here that it locks us in even further to a closed competition if they were able to parachute a board into place that was A-League focused.

      The real result we want is broaden the membership enough that no single bloc hold a balance of power. But are we at a mature enough spot to enable that to happen?

      The 9-3-1 proposed by FFA leaves too much power in the hands of the State Feds (as seen by how easily the FFA can influence) the minor feds.

      The alternative 9-5-2 the PFA and A-league clubs want seem reasonable on the surface, but a board member would need 12 out of the 16 votes to be elected. It does means that the all board members would need to be endorsed by the A-league owners, is this too much power to hand to the current owners? I am not sure we want the board membership being dependent on the current owners.

      • August 1st 2018 @ 10:52am
        Nemesis said | August 1st 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        I can’t imagine FIFA will approve 9-5-2 or any similar size Congress. FIFA has already rejected the previous attempt by FFA to put forward something like this, which is why we have the Working Group.

        I’d expect FIFA will want a Congress with at least 30-50 members drawn from all the communities that comprise football.

        Maybe it means instead of a State Rep, we have Regional Reps. Similar to the Federal Parliament where the House of Reps has 150 Members who represent electorates; not the entire State.

        • Roar Pro

          August 1st 2018 @ 10:57am
          Brendo51 said | August 1st 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          That is not true Nem, FFA put forward 9-4-1 and that was rejected as a A-League clubs and a couple of the state feds were against it. If they had of agreed to 9-5-2 at the time FIFA would have signed off on it. As that is what the clubs and pfa wanted as well.

          The 9-5-2 was the model that everybody agreed to late last year but then FFA lobbied hard for a some feds to reject it and ultimately it fell apart.

          This is why I want to see the details. I really hope you are right and they are now proposing a bigger model but I suspect we are still arguing over 1 -2 seats.

          • August 1st 2018 @ 11:15am
            Nemesis said | August 1st 2018 @ 11:15am | ! Report

            Where did you read FIFA would’ve approved 9-4-2? FIFA has clearly stated it wants diversity on the Congress &, in particular, gender diversity. Nothing about 9-5-2 indicates gender diversity, other than PFA reps might be 1 male & 1 female. I would expect 9-5-2 will be binned by FIFA. And, you can be sure, if FIFA introduces a Normalisation Committee it will not be structuring a 9-5-2, or similar, Congress.

            • Roar Pro

              August 1st 2018 @ 11:31am
              Brendo51 said | August 1st 2018 @ 11:31am | ! Report

              Back in September when FIFA had reps out here, we were very close to having this all agreed. At the last minute FFA held one on one talks with a couple of Feds to derail it.

              FIFA were fully involved in these talks and it was all around a 9-4-1 vs 9-4-1-1 vs 9-5-1-1 model. There was no talk back then of expanding it more than that. My understanding was that everybody had agreed on 9-5-1-1 and then FFA convinced some state stakeholders that this handed to much power to the clubs.

              https://www.news.com.au/sport/football/fifa-a-step-closer-to-taking-over-ffa-after-meeting-to-resolve-the-voting-structure-finished-in-a-scoreless-draw/news-story/7d19c0a685a4e280c51a4d869dc236c7

              https://thenewdaily.com.au/sport/football/2017/11/30/ffa-reform-rejected-fifa-may-step-in/

              Of course if a normalisation committee is put in place I agree it could all start again and FIFA could push for a larger model.

              • August 1st 2018 @ 11:48am
                Nemesis said | August 1st 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

                I followed that very closely but my interpretation of the event was not that FIFA was close to approving that structure but the local factions were close to approving.

                If this is true, then that’s a big difference.

                Even with the Working Group proposal, FIFA might say “not good enough” & step in before the 7 Sept Meeting.

                FIFA has stated the FFA Congress is unacceptable. It lacks gender diversity, it’s too small & it is not representative. If FIFA sticks to this message, then 9-5-2 will be put in the bin, if that’s what the Working Group decided after 4 months.

                The Crawford Report recommendation for Congress would the sort of thing I think FIFA would be looking for.

              • Roar Guru

                August 1st 2018 @ 11:56am
                Cousin Claudio said | August 1st 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                Those articles are a year old.

                We have come a long way since then and we are nearly there.
                The main sticking points are that the owners want one more owner on the FFA board, 5 instead of 4 to give a board of 16 and the distribution of A-League revenues to owners.

                Neither side want FIFA to run football in Australia and there should be an agreemnt by October.

                There is no money in Australian football anyway and greater share of revenue or not, FFA and the A-League clubs will continue to struggle financially. Owning an A-League club is just a tax deduction.

                An A-League second division is going to lose millions. It might be what FIFA want, but it will be a financial drain on the FFA. Is that more important than the A-League itself, the Socceroos and other international teams, women’s football and grassroots football.

                Maybe FIFA should provide the financial support to make it happen.

              • Roar Pro

                August 1st 2018 @ 11:57am
                Brendo51 said | August 1st 2018 @ 11:57am | ! Report

                What they are looking for and what they will accept at two very different things.

                There is no way that FIFA will reject the working group findings, you don’t appoint a working group, agree to a structure then throw out their findings (They wouldn’t have been submitted without FIFA knowing their content). Things just don’t work that way

              • Roar Pro

                August 1st 2018 @ 12:04pm
                Brendo51 said | August 1st 2018 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

                Claudio
                Yes these articles are 1 year old and it was exactly the same sticking point back then. The 1 seat makes a huge difference in such a small congress and to say we have come a long way is naive.

                The maths is very simple

                9 out of 16 seats = 56% which not enough to elect a board member
                9 our of 15 Seats = 60% which is enough

                FFA want a model that does not rely on the support of the A-league owners or PFA to elect the board. It is ALL about this and always has been

              • August 1st 2018 @ 12:08pm
                Nemesis said | August 1st 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                There is a reason the Congress WG had to submit the Report to FIFA & AFC. It’s not for filing. It’s for FIFA to either endorse, or reject.

                FIFA didn’t form the Working Group.

                The FFA put the proposal of a Working Group, to FIFA’s Member Associations Committee, when the State Feds /ALeague/PFA couldn’t reach consensus.

                The FIFA Committee “eventually decided to support the establishment” of the WG, provided FIFA/AFC were fully involved and a more inclusive & representative model was presented.

                FIFA/AFC then visited AUS to meet stakeholders to define terms of reference for the WG.

                https://www.fifa.com/about-fifa/news/y=2017/m=12/news=statement-concerning-the-football-federation-of-australia-2923399.html

                So, FIFA did not initiate the Working Group. FIFA only allowed it because FFA said this would be the way to reach consensus.

              • Roar Pro

                August 1st 2018 @ 12:16pm
                Brendo51 said | August 1st 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                Nem
                You are making my point for me

                “provided FIFA/AFC were fully involved”

                FIFA establish the terms of reference, they forced the appointment of a independent chairperson.

                Do you really think after being so heavily involved they will turn around and not accept the findings……won’t happen. It would be like saying we didn’t do our jobs properly.

      • August 1st 2018 @ 11:01am
        Kris said | August 1st 2018 @ 11:01am | ! Report

        I think all the Lowy-this, power-that talk is a distraction.

        The State Feds (via the FFA) formed the A-League and it is a cash injection for them to filter cash down to themselves. The State Leagues don’t want to hand-over a profitable business to 3rd party.

        The HAL want to keep their money and run themselves and cut the State Leagues loose. Particuarly private owners. They get their way people shouldn’t imagine it makes expansion easier – why would the HAL clubs share their revenue and subsidise a new team?

        The state clubs want to push both the FFA and HAL out of the way so they can force their way back into the national comp.

        Lowy and co are fighting (for ego and power sure) but also because (they think) an independent HAL is not in the interests of the state leagues, national teams. They are fighting to keep the ‘traditional’ clubs from returning us to the ‘bad old days’ of small niche clubs.

        Whatever their egos and power-plays are; people shouldn’t look past that they have an actual policy and strategy that they are fighting for – even if you disagree with it.

        • Roar Pro

          August 1st 2018 @ 11:40am
          Brendo51 said | August 1st 2018 @ 11:40am | ! Report

          Expansion yes, but not a open competition.

          If the Owners are in direct control of the A-league do you really think they will vote for pro/rel? You are kidding yourself if you think that would be the case. We would see nearly a exact replica of the MLS with expansion based on commercial basis (we will expand if you pay us) but nobody is going to risk dropping out of the A-league.

        • August 1st 2018 @ 12:31pm
          MQ said | August 1st 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          I think you are right that this could be described as a triangular power struggle, but as things stand, this is how the votes sit:

          1. A-League clubs have one vote.

          the 9 federations have the remaining votes, but

          2. the two largest federations have an uneasy alliance, agree with the A-League clubs on some things, but not others, but represent the clubs most likely to have a large representation in a second division

          that leaves 7 federations, but

          3. the family clan appears to have the four smallest federations in their back pocket, stymieing any constitutional change

          that leaves the 3 middle sized federations, but of these, one is pretty small, and I would suggest is also subject to being captured by the family clan – that leaves two others.

          • August 1st 2018 @ 1:27pm
            Kris said | August 1st 2018 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

            I think if you are the ACT or NT it isn’t so much about being in Lowy’s pocket – but right now you hold a veto. You are in a strong position to ensure funding to your programs. Under a 20-delegate model you just went from 1/7th of the votes to 1/20th and you may never see another dollar spent in your state.

            • August 1st 2018 @ 3:21pm
              MQ said | August 1st 2018 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

              Definitely agree with all of that, but it follows that both of them, and the other small federations, are therefore likely to be more amenable to such approaches (and thinking it through, it really wouldn’t take a lot of convincing from the man holding more than one set of purse strings).

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