In November we will have a new and more representative board with almost total support among football’s stakeholders.
The key reason has been many “mushroom” and thought bubbles, as well as little rebellions, began popping up all over, and not just because of the lack of good news. It was the loss of standing and gravitas of the FFA.
Anything they said was pretty much disregarded by most people. The FFA, under Stephen Lowy, squandered their mandate to govern the sport, with all their decisions and projects looked at with outright cynicism – unless it directly benefited someone who defended their decision.
This is not so much about vested interest and inherent bias – it’s simple psychology. When the organisation has no standing and is regarded as having no integrity, there is no trust to carry their decisions that have no direct benefit to other individuals, clubs or competitions.
All that is seen is cynically the “pissing up the wall” of yet more coin. I don’t think anybody can name a single decision and proposal from FFA aside from the E-League that had genuine support from a majority of football people over the last five years.
Can it be rectified by a complete collapse of FFA board? You could change the FFA board, but the same bureaucrats will be in the background. Will the FFA still be regarded with suspicion?
Let’s look at where we are now, six bids deemed strong enough for the new board to consider.
The FFA needs to earn stakeholders’ trust as a first. Also, the A-League must act independently at some time in the near future.
My guess on how this will work is the FFA will say; “this is the competition structure” (i.e number of teams, second division etc.).
The new independent A-League will offer existing clubs the right to take part in the structure of the new competition. The FFA will then charge an annual fee to the A-League.
So this is the crux of the matter. The new board – to earn back the trust – needs to design a competition that people want. It’s then for existing A-League teams to decide whether they wish to take part in such a competition or whether new sides should come in.
Ditching the salary cap and replacing it with player minimum wages (i.e under 18 players must get X, 18-to-21 players must get Y etc.) and allowing transfer fees would add to clubs being more stable.
In summary two questions. First, am I right in my assumption the new FFA will design the competition with the clubs running it?
Second, if this is right, what do you want the competition to look like?