Feature

Why did FFA fail to expand on A-League expansion?

Any reasonable football fan in this country would be entitled to treat besieged Football Federation Australia's statement regarding A-League expansion with scepticism and disdain.

Gallop, Lowy

Football Federation Australia chief executive officer David Gallop (L) and chairman Steven Lowy Source: Getty Images

It could well happen but we should not hold our breath.

This is what football leadership in Australia has come to, unfortunately.

FFA have lost the plot and the dressing room and whatever they do or say even if with the best of intentions will be seen as suspicious by most of the game's stakeholders.

Advertisement
You see, only a few people trust FFA and their shenanigans. Particularly chairman Steven Lowy who was handed the job by his father Frank amid widespread controversy and has since played a key role in distancing the administration from the game it is ruling.



Three days before a joint FIFA/AFC delegation is due in Australia to try to find a way to solve the congress impasse that has sent the game backwards by two decades, FFA came out with an unsubstantiated statement about their main priorities for 2018.

FFA said they have targeted 2019-2020 as the season for the introduction of two teams in the A-League.

The promise should have pleased those who believe with good reason that a 12-team competition is long overdue.

But the statement, typically, is low on detail.

The formal process will be announced next month with the intention to have a decision later this year, it read.

Have we not heard this one from the FFA!

'Target' and 'intention' are empty and convenient words to use when you have no firm desire to commit.

It has been FFA's modus operandi for years: put out an incomplete story, let the fans and media talk about it ad nauseam so as to deflect from more pressing issues, buy a bit of time and in the end we go back to square one.
In this case FFA hope they are seen by FIFA and the AFC as though they are extending an olive branch in a conscientious bid to solve the congress crisis.

Their problem is many fans are not buying this. And nor are the clubs, mind you.

The Australian Professional Football Clubs Association see the statement as "a smokescreen of the highest order."

Chairman Greg Griffin told Fairfax Media this is a "last-gasp attempt by the FFA board to portray football as a happy family in Australia".

Well, it is not a happy family, assuming it is a family.

Too many facets of our football are not right and need fixing, which is probably why there is an air of despondency and frustration surrounding our game after things generally were looking so good and promising four or five years ago.

But, hang on a minute, what are we worrying about?

We've got the E-League now so it's all good and she'll be right.


Share
Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
3 min read
Published 17 February 2018 at 9:50am
By Philip Micallef