Lowy conquerors expecting one last survival ploy from sinking chairman

The forces pursuing regime change in Australian football are not celebrating just yet, despite successfully torpedoing Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy's version of governance reform.

Thursday afternoon's momentous - though short-lived - annual general meeting between the game's stakeholders in Sydney represented Lowy's last chance to stave off FIFA intervention, and keep power in the hands of the few.

The chairman's failure to pass a resolution requiring eight of 10 votes to be presented as a fait accompli to FIFA, seemingly leaves the governing body with little alternative other than to rubber stamp at its Member Associations Committee meeting in Abu Dhabi next Tuesday for the sacking of the FFA board and the imposition of a temporary normalisation committee to run the game in Australia.

Despite Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin's apt analogy that Lowy "had lost the dressing room", in a statement released after the AGM, there was no sense of triumphalism from within the ranks of those that stood against Lowy.

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The 10 A-League clubs, the PFA and rebel State Federations NSW and Victoria won't be vindicated until FIFA acts on its pledge to step in as an interim guardian of the game and install a more democratic ruling regime.

Until then, with the future of the game's governance now officially in limbo, there remains the belief that Lowy may not go quietly.

He has already notified FIFA of the FFA's failure to pass Whitlam Square's unpopular reform model.

It's now down to Zurich to repeat what it has done in Argentina, Thailand, Greece and Guinea in the past, and send in its suits to put in place a new leadership group to oversee the game.

Hydra, the serpent of Greek mythology was able to grow another head when one was lopped off, and there are concerns by some that billionaire Westfield scion Lowy may be imbued with similar powers.



As one club owner ruminated: "I am sure Steven will try and hang in any way he can. That's what we can expect, even at this late date.

"But you have to believe that for all intents and purposes it's over. It's just a matter for FIFA now.

"I can echo what Greg has said in stating the the chairman has quite clearly lost his legitimacy."

Unless Lowy can pull off a Rocky-like clamber off the ropes, or FIFA's Members Association Committee falls short on its threats and allows FFA "extra time" and/or a "please explain", the business class seats to Sydney from Zurich will be filling up briskly.

Assuming the Member Associations Committee detonates the nuclear option, that decision must be sanctioned by the FIFA Council, which could delay a final ratification until the end of December.


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3 min read
Published 30 November 2017 at 7:12pm
By Dave Lewis