A-League clubs want ownership reform

Governance reform, A-League ownership and revenue distribution remain points of contention between clubs and Football Federation Australia.

Andrew Nabbout celebrates his brace

A-League clubs and players have called for a major reform of how the competition is run. Source: Getty Images

A-League clubs will spend the coming weeks pressing Football Federation Australia for details on a revamped ownership model, including getting a minimum of six votes on the FFA congress.

FFA has acknowledged it cannot retain full ownership over the competition if club licences are to grow in value.

The issue was discussed over two days between the governing body's top brass and club owners on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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One source inside the talks said that FFA chief executive David Gallop and chairman Steven Lowy alluded to providing clubs with "greater equities".

Whether that amounted to franchises taking complete control of the league was unclear, said the source, who added the FFA had failed to provide any idea as to what a new model might look like or over what time frame it could be implemented.

In a statement on Thursday, Gallop said he and Lowy wanted to develop new A-League and W-League models with input from clubs, but warned the process would not be quick and painless.

"There are many forms that the model could take, but whatever is ultimately adopted must take into consideration the funding requirements of all levels of the game," Gallop said.

"Most of our commercial partners and the broadcasters look at the whole game, not just the professional leagues, and FFA ultimately has responsibility for the whole of the game in Australia, the grassroots and national teams

"The process to a new model for the A-League and W-League cannot be achieved in a single meeting.

"Months of detailed work will be necessary and we look forward to doing this with the clubs."

This tension between the game's competing facets remains a source of vehement disagreement between FFA and clubs, who continue to demand $6 million in annual distribution.

It is more than double their current grant, and would likely leave the FFA little money to fund other key areas of the game.

Clubs have also spurned an offer for two additional votes on a 17-voter congress proposed by FFA in a bid to comply with FIFA-imposed governance reforms.



FFA is seeking to increase from 10 the number of voices electing its board, suggesting the other five additional votes be given to special interest groups including referees and beach soccer.

It's understood clubs rejected this breakdown and have set their minimum limit at a total six votes.

FFA will meet with the players' union, Professional Football Australia, on Friday.


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Published 16 February 2017 at 8:20pm