High noon for Lowy as opponents stand firm in joust for power

The curtain on the tumultuous two-year reign of FFA chairman Steven Lowy could be about to fall with the A-League clubs, the PFA and two rebel states holding a united front as Australian football's governance crisis nears its crescendo.

Steven Lowy

Steven Lowy could be on borrowed time as FFA chairman. Source: Getty Images

Lowy is seeking to push through a 9-4-1-1-1 reform model at Thursday week's annual general meeting - to be held on the same day that FIFA's deadline for the imposition of democratized Congress agreeable to stakeholders expires.

The 10 A-League clubs, the PFA and the Victorian and NSW federations remain vehemently opposed to Lowy's version of reform, making it likely that FIFA will step in, sack the board, and impose a normalisation committee early next month to run the sport.

Lowy is determined to avoid handing the clubs and PFA the requisite number of votes for veto powers in an expanded Congress.

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The FFA proposal would ensure all nine state federations retain their votes, with the A-League clubs given four, the PFA one and one each for the ‘community’ and ‘professional’ components of women’s football.

The clubs and PFA favour a 9.5.1.1 model which gives the clubs an extra vote, and just one for women's football.

Even if the FFA is able to garner the required 75 per cent support for its reform package at the AGM, it's doubtful whether FIFA would deem such an outcome acceptable, after in August instructing all three stakeholders to come to a mutually agreeable solution over a modified Congress.

Lowy has been feverishly lobbying the state federations in recent weeks to lock in their compliance but suffered a significant setback when Football Federation Victoria chairman Kimon Taliadoros cancelled a scheduled appointment with him earlier this month, and sided with the clubs and PFA and forced the cancellation of a planned extraordinary general meeting.

According to FIFA statutes, "Legislative bodies must be constituted in accordance with the principles of representative democracy and taking into account the importance of gender equality in football”.

All of which leaves the FFA bereft of the mandates required, certainly in the eyes of their opponents, to retain any form of legitimacy.

Between them, Football NSW (52 per cent) and FFV (13 per cent) represent 65 per cent of Australia's registered players, whilst the PFA represents the entire professional game.

The other seven state federations, currently in Lowy's camp, represent just 35 per cent of players.

All eyes will now be on Whitlam Square on Thursday week, with the club bosses convinced they have forged an alliance capable of thwarting a board which they believe is stifling the growth of the sport.



The AGM comes just 15 days after Australia sealed a fourth successive World Cup qualification by defeating Honduras at Sydney's Olympic Stadium.

The Lowys, former FFA chairman Frank and son Steven, were on the pitch celebrating with players at the final whistle in a moment of unanimity.

But the irony of the moment was not lost on some, with the PFA, which represents each and every Socceroo, diametrically opposed to Congress the Lowys are attempting to impose on stakeholders.


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3 min read
Published 21 November 2017 at 11:32am
By Dave Lewis