• Steven Lowy and his wife Judy (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Steven Lowy, the new leader of Australian football, made his intentions very clear when he stated in his first press conference that he is willing to offer better dialogue with all the stakeholders of the game.
By
Philip Micallef

17 Nov 2015 - 5:28 PM  UPDATED 17 Nov 2015 - 6:56 PM

Lowy has been elected as the new chairman of Football Federation Australia, taking over from his father Frank who relinquished his post on Tuesday after 12 game-changing years.

Lowy Jnr spoke candidly with the media, at Westfield's corporate headquarters in Sydney, about the great honour he has been bestowed with and the passion he has for the game.

However, what will surely please many people, who might have felt rather short-changed by the outgoing administration's perceived toughness and intransigence, was his promise of a better and more open dialogue with the game's stakeholders.

Lowy's legacy as man who lifted football from its knees
Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Frank Lowy has been dubbed "the right man at the right time" to "almost single-handedly" save the code from itself as he prepares to step down after a tumultuous 12-year reign.

"Clearly this is a time for listening and I intend to be very consultative," Lowy said.

"I intend the new board to be very consultative and take its time in understanding the issues.

"Because when you have in effect six new board members (four today and two last year), it's a time to have a fresh look on the game and it's a time to listen.

"Football has many stakeholders and the board will focus on the relationships with the stakeholders and how to harness those relationships for the betterment of the game."

The 52-year-old co-chief executive of Westfield Corporation said it was too early to talk about the direction the new board will take but he did reveal the FFA's priorities for the improvement of the game at club and national level.

"In the early days they would include working with the board under the new strategic plan," he said.

"The previous board and management team have been working on a four-year plan from 2016 to 2019 and the first order of business is to understand that plan, work with the management team and putting it into place.

"Clearly the further broadcasting deal coming up in 2017 is a very important plank for the future strategy of the game and its financial stability.

"The stability and growth of the A-League are of critical importance for the football community and working with the clubs will be a very important aspect and focus of the new board."

FFA often claim that notwithstanding the massive popularity of the Socceroos, the A-League remains the bread-and-butter of the game in Australia.

Lowy was careful not to offer any official comment on the matter but from a "passionate" point of view he said he regarded the Socceroos and the A-League as equally important for the game to prosper.

"I don't think we can isolate the Socceroos from the A-League. It is critically important that Australia has successful national teams - the Socceroos and the Matildas - and a very successful league competition," Lowy said.

"The two go hand in glove and the combined product is very important.

"The people in Australia love the Socceroos but they also love their A-League clubs. There are enormous opportunities for both to grow in success and stature.

"I have no doubt that both of them need to be focused just as the grassroots nature of the game, because the younger players ultimately will lead to a strong league and national team."