Feature

For the good of the game, Steven Lowy, just go

COMMENT: Football Federation Australia have lost the plot, the dressing room and any semblance of goodwill they once shared with a frustrated football fraternity.

steven lowy

FFA chairman Steven Lowy Source: AAP

The board should do the right thing and step down.

Chairman Steven Lowy has done himself no favours with his antagonistic, arrogant and provocative approach towards the job he controversially inherited from his father Frank two years ago.

The governing body completed its latest public relations disaster with the abysmal handling of the row with the stakeholders over the size of its congress.

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As if the arrival of FIFA and AFC officials to supervise meetings designed to sort out the colossal mess was not embarrassing enough - now the foreign representatives have departed our shores with the distinct feeling that our football is a complete basket case.

Regardless of who is right or wrong in one of the most bitter and damaging rows that have hit our game in decades, the FFA as football guardians in this country must shoulder most of the blame for the impasse that will have massive repercussions.

The FFA in one fell swoop have managed to achieve what others have failed to do for years: unite the game's stakeholders.

The only difference is that this time the football family is united in its dislike and mistrust of the governing body.

The football community also has lost faith in the modus operandi of its patronising administration that has been accused of treating its stakeholders as school children.

And when club chairmen openly call for the FFA board to resign and describe the FFA leadership as toxic, you know that the time has come for the game to change direction.



Even if a compromise - though highly unlikely at this stage - is reached by November, it is hard to imagine the game's stakeholders working together for the good of the game after what transpired in the last two weeks.

The damage caused by the recent shenanigans will have a lasting effect on our sport if the FFA are allowed to keep running it in their highly controversial style.
The FFA won't change and this is why they have to go. It's as simple as that.

Australian football has made great strides forward at many levels and to be fair we probably would not have a game to argue and bicker about were it not for the intervention of Frank Lowy more than a decade ago.

It all started so positively: Australia got out of the hole called Oceania to join Asia, the professional A-League was formed and the Socceroos qualified for the first of three straight FIFA World Cups with the healthy prospect of a fourth.

Things are different now, much different.

Hope that our game had finally cracked it in such a 'hostile' country as Australia has been replaced by frustration and a feeling of deja vu.

Our faith in an administration that was obtaining positive results has made way for mistrust.

And our belief that we had reached a stage where we were working towards a common goal has transformed itself into indignation among the fans who as always are the ones to suffer most from this impasse.

And there is no point reiterating who is to blame for this abysmal state of affairs.

Lowy and his cohorts had an obligation and should have had the foresight to make sure the row never got to this stage but they failed miserably.

In 1987, as Sydney City president, Frank Lowy in a fit of pique famously 'picked the ball up and went home' and withdrew his battling club from the National Soccer League. He was later accused of disrespect towards the game.

Steven Lowy should do the same and quit the game ... and take his board with him.

Nobody would accuse him of disrespect.


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4 min read
Published 11 August 2017 at 12:47pm
By Philip Micallef