David Gallop

When I started a “To Do” list for my first day in the job as FFA CEO, writing this note to football’s stakeholders was top of the list.

It’s not about setting out an agenda. My intention in my initial few weeks in this job is to do a lot of listening. My goal is for everyone who plays, watches and works either for wages or on a volunteer basis to feel like they belong in football.

I encourage everyone with an interest in the game's future to let me know what they would like to see. In turn, I’ll do my best to get around the country to see football in action and meet as many of you as I can.

If you do want to share your thoughts, you can add your comments at the bottom of this page.

In the first instance, I wish to thank the FFA Chairman Frank Lowy, the Deputy Chairman Brian Schwartz and the Board of the FFA for the opportunity they have given me. It’s a great time to head up such a dynamic sport and business.

No one could have missed the excitement that has accompanied the opening rounds of the Hyundai A-League this season so far. On that topic, I pay tribute to fans in the stadiums who have come in record numbers and have created such a great atmosphere. It will be a privilege to help continue to build on that momentum.

No other sport can truly reflect the unique multiculturalism of our country and that must continue to be used as a positive force in the community.

The other key point of difference that football has against the other brands of footy in Australia is the women’s game. I know the Westfield Matildas are the current Asian champions, but the fact that more than 20 per cent of all registered players are female is remarkable.

Like most sports fans I have always liked and admired football, or soccer as
it was called. If I slip into calling it soccer every now and then, I’m sure you’ll understand. It’s natural for my generation. I grew up watching Match of the Day with Jimmy Hill on the ABC. I attended Canberra Arrows games under the coaching of a true legend in the late Johnny Warren.

Both my son and my daughter played football as youngsters and I helped coach and even occasionally refereed their games at Queen’s Park in Sydney.

In 2005 I was at Homebush Bay when John Aloisi kicked us into the FIFA World Cup finals. I jumped out of my seat, but remember also being one of the first in the ground to quickly sit down. With my rugby league hat on I sat down and thought, "Uh-oh, this could be bad - the sleeping giant just got a giant prod."

The giant continues to be not only awake, but on the move. The stats around participation, crowds and TV ratings are hugely impressive. No other sport can put us so clearly on the world stage and Australians love to watch the Qantas Socceroos take on the world.

Football is the biggest game on the planet and we want to be part of it as a world-class football nation.

My early sense is that in terms of its strategic direction, the game is in an execution rather than creation of new strategies phase. Government reviews and strategic plans have been put in place. While there is always an opportunity to review things much of that work has been done.

In any event, you can announce lots of strategic plans and targets, but unless you execute your strategy you will fail. The game is witnessing the execution of strategy - the marquee player rule - every weekend now. It has taken a few years, but who could doubt its pulling power now?

In my previous role at the NRL we set twin strategies of running a close competition and pursuing a deep level of community engagement in 2002. It took some time for the value of those strategies to be fully recognised.

That recognition came clearly through in 2005 when Wests Tigers won the competition and spent the next few months taking the trophy into the community - the strategy was being executed.

The cultural imperatives set down by the Sydney Swans are another example of a well executed strategy bringing success on and off the field.

In football, I can see the Central Coast Mariners have made a strong virtue of community engagement and infused that culture in the playing group. I’m sure it was a strategy written down very early on, but you need the right people and processes to get it right.

The same applies to the success of the Melbourne Victory in being a very strong membership-based club and the emerging Western Sydney Wanderers flying the flag in football’s heartland. I’m sure there are many more examples of clever execution of strategy and I look forward to seeing them first hand.

On a broader scale, I know the game has a strategic objective to better connect the massive participation base across Australia to the national competition. I believe that the Hyundai A-League is in for a period of sustained growth. As the shop window of the game, that growth will have an impact at the grassroots. I am excited to be part of it.

As for the "We Are Football" campaign, I love it as a slogan. It captures a feeling of pride that football people clearly have for their game.

My job is to lead a team of people. Some of them will be steeped in football and some won’t. That is entirely appropriate. Passion in sport must always be carefully managed. My job is to keep the passion for the sport in balance with sound principles that will drive the game forward at every level.

I am looking forward to working with the many highly capable people at the FFA and throughout the game who can help me in that pursuit.

When Archie Thomson scored the second goal against Iraq a few weeks ago, I jumped up in my lounge room and this time I didn't need to sit back down.

My transition into the job comes as the new broadcast arrangements are being formalised. It was the intention to start the job once the deals were done and announced, but events have overtaken us.

I won’t pre-empt the detail of the broadcast announcement, but I want to express my gratitude to Ben Buckley for all the effort he has put into the game. A huge amount of credit for the current success must go to him . I also want to express my admiration for the whole transition process that has been in place since my appointment was announced in August.

I’m delighted to get started as the FFA CEO and help the game grow. I will keep you informed about the game’s progress through the website and many other forums in the game.

How far will Western Sydney go in the AFC Champions League?

Comments (131)
As Andy from Lake Macquarie says, my kids are slightly older and I have writeen numerous times to numerous bodies about this issue. There should be a minimum length a season can run for the $200 registration fee. 12 weeks just is not enough. What to do for the other 40 weekends of the year. This needs to be fixed if we are seriously going to develop internationally competitve teams.
Munster  |  
27 Nov 2012 01:28 PM
Follow these steps for success: 1. Engage the (football) community 2. Use the club supporters (they are willing) 3. Ticket pricing initiatives 4. Support the (A-League) clubs in there own marketing initiatives 5. Never call it soccer 6. Repeat the above steps over and over Lastly, don't mention how the other codes should be worried about where football is going unless you actually intend to do something about it. It's not about taking some of the market share, and it's not about who we can take from the NRL, AFL or Rugby, the target market is sitting there on the tree waiting to be picked.
roaruss  |  
26 Nov 2012 03:32 PM
Hi David, I have an 8 year old son who is fanatical about playing Football. We live in Lake Macquarie and have access to great facilities for the 12 weeks or so that a season is on. But what about the rest of the year? A few years ago I rang up NNSWFF to talk about a concept I had of neighbourhood football, where some parents with coaching qualifications put on games for the neighbourhood kids, hopefully under the sponsorship of a club or some other football organisation. The thought of organising and promoting a kickaround for the local kids was too threatening for them and I was actively discouraged from taking the task on myself due to factors such as insurance and protection of the brand name "football". I would like to unlock the potential of football as a community game: let kids be kids and develop their skills by playing the game as much as possible within their own neighbourhood while making friends with other kids in their neighbourhood. I don't mind travelling around the city during the winter season and don't see this as a threat to the structure of clubs and Federations. This is what I see as the main untapped potential in Australia: the discrepancy between how much kids want to play football and how much clubs and federations let them play football. It seems that the people who control the game want the overall skill base of the game to increase but will only allow this to happen within the current structure. I will stick my hand up as a parent to take such a task on in my neighbourhood. I'm thinking that there could be a national neighbourhood football brand and website where people can check if a game is on in their neighbourhood and for what age groups. Let me know if you think this idea has potential. I'm ready and waiting.
Andy  |  
26 Nov 2012 12:12 PM
Congratulations on your appointment David, and thank you for the opportunity to have a say. My suggested blueprint for growing the game in Australia : 1. Free-to-air television for reach to a wider representation of Australians. (I have and will continue to support Fox, though want to see everyone have the opportunity to share in our game) 2. Match day should include a W-league or youth league curtain raiser - adds to the main game spectator experience, improves crowd numbers for those games, and provides greater exposure to complementary leagues (and their respective markets). 3. FA Cup style competition is needed (it's like a second chance for fans and clubs - not the same as State-of-origin, but conceptual similarity of a second chance), with pool including appropriately qualified teams from state conferences. 4. Build package of regular internationals with traditional rivals outside of Asian Confederation - eg England, New Zealand, etc. The NZ game could be vs Australian A-league only players? I'm conscious my thoughts echo many others who have already spoken - though wanted to take up your offer to have my say. Millions of Australians are trusting you to take the game forward in this country David, including my family and I. Good luck!
Australian Football Fan  |  
25 Nov 2012 09:21 PM
Hi David, Congratulations on your appointment to the CEO's job at the FFA, I wish you well in it. I have one question though (I am not alone in this question), but what are the FFA's plans for the long-term inclusion of Wellington Phoenix on the A-League? For me, I see no need for the Phoenix in the A-League, and I'll tell you (logically and legally, why): - The Phoenix are based in New Zealand, which since 2005, New Zealand & Australia have been separated in a football sense. NZ is in Oceania, whilst Australia is in the Asian Football Confederation; - The 'football development' that New Zealand brings to the A-League is VERY negligible. Where was NZ before the 2010 World Cup? Australia has spent millions developing its football systems for the last 10 years, why should the Kiwi's get this intellectual knowledge for free? - TV rights, the expected new Australian TV rights for the Socceroos & the A-League from (likely to be) Fox Sports will dwarf any television money that we make from Sky TV NZ. Hence making NZ's TV money negligible, and as a result, sending Aussie TV money OUTSIDE of Australia to prop up the NZ-based Phoenix. - The Phoenix are denied access to the Asian Champions League at present bu the AFC, so if they can't access the Champions League, what does that tell you about the AFC's attitude to the Phoenix? - The Asian Football Confederation itself, I feel that long term, Australia is damaging its relations with the Asian Football Confederation itself, by hosting the New Zealand based (and hence, Oceania Football Confederation based), Wellington Phoenix, in the A-League. I feel that, unless someone can conclusively tell me what sporting, economic & 'football development' benefits the Phoenix brings to the A-League, then Australia should sever all remaining football ties with New Zealand, and fully integrate itself with the Asian Football Condeferation, free from any pre-2005 "baggage" from Oceania. You relationship with New Zealand in football will be different that Rugby League. Football has the world to enjoy, why just limit your exposure to a loud, annoying neighbour? I hope that you give my email some serious thought. Good luck in your new job.
Cozza  |  
19 Nov 2012 11:59 PM
Like a few others have commented, I think we need to increase the numbers on the A-League bench. I know the cost of travel sending an extra player might put some strain on clubs, but surely the money can be found from somewhere! On a side-note I also agree with the very superficial comments of the plastic chairs, but if we want to be thought of as professional, surely we have to look the part. Unlike many others, I am not a fan of promotion/relegation. Sure it seems like a nice idea of fighting for your place in the league for next year etc. but it would not work in our footballing landscape - clubs would lose too much money from relegation and it just would not be worth the effort. We are trying to build football UP not bring it down...Every fan should feel comfortable knowing their team will still be around next season. Many would argue those teams that don’t have a chance of making the finals would give up and play terrible football. However, at the end of the day, these players are professionals and should act accordingly on the pitch - if they don’t, the younger players should get a start ahead of them. This system seems to work well in the NRL, as you would be aware... I love the idea of expansion, especially into Canberra and Wollongong, however I do not want to see this happening until 2016 at the very earliest. We need to consolidate what an amazing league we have at the moment and not dilute the player pool. I would love to see the crowd figures stay as high as they have been throughout this season and these will fall if we introduce a sub-standard quality of football. To add to the comments about free-to-air football, of course it would be great to see - though I know this is not in your control with the new deal just about to be announced (as some others have seemed to be implying!). Unless you can swing a deal through the anti-siphoning list. It would be of extreme importance get the national team on the anti-siphoning list for games outside of the World Cup itself. Even if it’s only for qualifiers and the Asian Cup. To put some perspective to it, the FA Cup final is on the list (often with teams I personally don't care about) but we couldn’t even watch our national team play Japan in 2011 Asian Cup final because it wasn’t on the list...ridiculous! Thanks for reading all the way to the end.
Eric  |  
19 Nov 2012 06:00 PM
I enjoyed your open letter David and I wish you every success over the next few years. Like you I am an NRL tragic having grown up with the big League on Channel 7 with Rex Mossop. But today I have a family of 4 who all play Football in the local Manly Warringah area. What a wonderful sport with a legion of unactivated fans. There is so much that could be done to generate the income necessary to make the sport No1 in Australia. 1. No one watches SBS so why give them the Free-To-Air rights? Huge mistake in the scheme of things. 2. I love the FA cup style knock out competition to really step up the promotion of the game 3. I do not understand why the Socceroo domestic game schedule is so limited. Every game is a sellout particularly with the world cup approaching. There is so much untapped home grown talent. Contract them to the FFA above there current contract and give them bonus payments. Then you have a product that does not rely on the overseas player. Then schedule Test Matches against South Africa, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil. Imagine what can be done with the revenue. Best of luck!!!
SQW  |  
19 Nov 2012 04:48 PM
Congratulations on your appointment David! To have an outstanding, well-rounded Sports Administrator to lead our 'beautiful game' is a great first for the code. It's great know your were there (along with 82,000 fanatics) enjoying the moment when we triumphed over Uruguay on our way to the World Cup. Your ambitious goal for everyone who plays, watches and works either for wages or on a volunteer basis to feel like they belong in football, fits very well with our slogan, WE ARE FOOTBALL. To encourage everyone with an interest in the game's future to let me know what they would like to see and in return, do your best to get around the country to see football in action and meet as many of you as I can is all any football tragic and follower can ask. Good luck in your new roll, have patience and begin to leave your legacy as you have done as positively in your previous roles. Our countries game is about to continue to bloom and flourish under your already proven adaptability, problem-solving skills and vision. But most importantly your down to earth approach and communication skills across all situations. We are the game that unites all, around the world, through the magical, round ball language.
Banno - Blue Mountains  |  
18 Nov 2012 10:38 PM
Hi David, Congratulations on the appointment. I've been living here 10 years now and watch the A league grow every year (slightly) most of the fomula in place is working well, the standard is getting better, the Marquee player will always bring in more fans and youth development within the teams will make the league stonger by the year. But if you want to capture the publics (more so the ones not already hooked) something simmilar to Our FA cup would be great, a knockout competion within each state to then play teams in the A league in a finals knockout would give you some magic that we see every year back home when some little minor teams get the opportunity to play the big boys, 1 team of from each state playing maybe thier only time for a chance on the big stage gets everyone dreaming of big things! Good luck, I hope and pray to see this as the biggest sport in Oz and one day we'll then be able to host the biggest of tournamets of all! Aaron Self.
Aaron  |  
18 Nov 2012 11:26 AM
The first and most important task is clear. Make the financial model stable and sustainable.. There is too much of a connection between off field viability and on field success, such that every time a club is down the bottom of the ladder, all hell breaks loose: fans attack the club and players, clubs attack the referee, media and FFA. Such pressure creates an unhealthy anger around clubs which turn off the casual fan, the person who just wants entertainment and fun. Someone has to be at the bottom and in such a tight league, it isn't the end of the world to be coming last. The FFA have encouraged the view that everyone is on a mission "to wake the sleeping giant". That to me is the underlying theme behind "We are football". It should be "We love football". We love it, but we are not simply defined by it. Once this new tv deal is done, the FFA will have the ability to manage the strategic direction yourselves. You should release everyone else from any kind of pressure of this kind of mission and just allow people to enjoy the game: fans just to watch football, coaches to coach, mums and dads to watch their kids play, referees to referee. You should enable exceptional performances to develop and opportunities to play the game, not demand that we create some utopian football universe. We aren't slaves. Free everyone just to simply be themselves and the game will thrive, don't make it out like one thing or another will derail the almighty mission of "waking the sleeping giant".
Andrew  |  
18 Nov 2012 11:17 AM
Best wishes David. I too was a Rugby League tragic with my sons participating until my daughter took up soccer as you call it. I didn't realize how many females participate, it's huge! 20% participation as you referred and what terrific football they play. I suggest more focus on womens football starting with W-League as the lead up game before the A-League game. What a great advertisment and exposure for the game. Think of all the additional fans that would go through the gate. Both boys and girls would be dragging their parents to more games. I see it as a no brainer!
John H  |  
17 Nov 2012 09:07 PM
David well done on the appointment I am sure it will be success. My changes to the game in Australia Introduce an FA Cup competition Develop further links with Asian Clubs Get free to view tv interested in the game, especially via FA Cup Appoint the right person as the new GM of A League operations - must have operational experience from a major football leaque Higher focus on woman's football and footsul Introduce a annual competition with NZ and South Africa and ten other ideas I have not listed
Shane G  |  
17 Nov 2012 12:43 PM
Welcome to Football. The main thing holding back the popularity of the game is lack of free to air TV coverage. If you are a fan of a club , you also like to see away matches as well as important matches for other teams in the A-League, plus good coverage of the Socceroos. It is great that all A-League matches are on pay TV but only a small proportion of followers have access at home. While I can go to a local RSL club, most screens usually show other sports and it is too noisy to hear the commentary. A suggestion is for the FFA to subsidise local football clubs around the country who wish to subscribe to Pay TV Sport and show it in their clubhouse on a regular basis to their members and interested local community. It could be a form of fundraising for the club (refreshments also sold), give opportunity for junior players to see professional level football, increase community interest in the game and thus involvement in football at all levels. Best wishes in your new role!
Ange- Sydney  |  
16 Nov 2012 06:10 PM
Domestically - you have to sort of the amateur state federations. You'll find out im sure, just how poorly run some of these administrations are run. Secondly, give futsal the resources its been needing for years. Futsal isnt the tv rating success of its big brother, but its your best opportunity to widen your player base in the capital cities - across all demographics. From there, you get more viewers, members, fans etc
Brian Guvnet  |  
16 Nov 2012 02:18 PM
David I can't really say welcome to football as I believe your appointment to be a poor decision by Mr Lowy and the FFA Board. Based on your track record of managing high profile media situations and some of the decisions you have made in recent years in your past role I don't believe you have either the understanding of our game or the experience to take it forward. I hope that the previous bias you discplayed toward Melbourne Storm and Melbourne in general does not affect your judgement in this role. As a former Socceroo I will watch with great interest to see what sort of positive impact you can bring to the game in this country.
John Yzendoorn  |  
16 Nov 2012 01:51 PM
Welcome to the most popular game in the world Mr Gallop. To take the next step we need to consolidate the HAL not dilute resources/funding to promotion/relegation (least not at the moment), each club should be looked at individually to see how the FFA can best help it - e.g. my Melbourne HeartFC is generally going in the right direction on the pitch but it sure as hell can use some assistance to help promote itself off the pitch. Some clubs may do well with marquee players but other may need other help. Match day expreience should be looked at from ticketing, entertainment to food. Prices for kids playing the game on weekends needs to be reviewed. Club owners have a right to be heard and their gripes dealt with. Hopefully that's what's happening. Each club should be REQUIRED to hold fan forums at least twice a year as part of their license condtion. Maybe even a representative of the fans should be elected to the board (or some such arrangement so that fan issues can be heard and dealt with). Just some ideas. Good luck!!
Stevo  |  
16 Nov 2012 01:13 PM
Your goals are simple. You need to bring in promotion and relegation for every single club in AUSTRALIA. You need to bring in an FFA Cup. You need to publicly apologise for the mistakes of previous CEO's, especially the one who approved the slogan "Old Soccer - New Football". You need to do all of the above in the next 3-5 years otherwise you will receive an EPIC FAIL.
15 Nov 2012 11:33 PM
Dave just one thing for me mate Please Bring the socceroos to perth can not rember when they were last here, we dont get a game in the asian cup finals. a nice sunday arvo game, prime time over east for the tele too.
Bob  |  
15 Nov 2012 09:49 PM
Firstly congratulations on your appointment. I expect that your level of expertise and professionalism will bring enormous benefits to our code. I'm not quite sure that you know what you have gotten into. I expect you will mostly deal with administration on a national level but this is not where are game is being driven from. There are thousand s of juniors all over the country from 6yrs or less playing small sided games with stars in their eyes and dreaming of being a socceroo one day. This is where the game is thriving and will gather it's strength from. Its's a great ideal until they get to the representative stage and then they soon see the inequalities between dreams and reality. Both NRL and AFL have very strong programs that funnel the talent through pathways into national drafts and there are clear paths for kids to play their sport at a national level. These pathways are in place in Football as long as you live in a capital city!! My sons love their football and are quite successful at it, however my oldest son has been told he has no other opportunity to play representative football at 15yrs of age? No State Titles and no Nationals? In AFL or NRL this is the age clubs and administrators are scouting for talent and signing players to clubs..... My other son will have to travel at least 3 hrs to train or play in a higher competition. We love our Football and travel the distances to give our kids every opportunity. All we ask is that the administrators give us a clear direction and reasonable opportunities. Our governing body FNSW is withdrawing resources from the country at an alarming rate. They have sacked 2 of our biggest advocates from coaching positions at FNSW and left us with no coach or player development. It seems the country kids are in the too hard basket and AFL are rubbing their hands together as hundreds of kids leave our code, they simply see no future in the game. You mentioned the growth in our sport perhaps you should get out into the country more often.....
Neal  |  
15 Nov 2012 09:26 PM
Dave just one thing for me mate Please Bring the socceroos to perth can not rember when they were last here, we dont get a game in the asian cup finals. a nice sunday arvo game, prime time over east for the tele too.
Bob  |  
15 Nov 2012 09:11 PM
ps what do we want ? -more media exposurehow do we get it ? david over to you !
c  |  
15 Nov 2012 09:08 PM
Welcome to the football fraternity David, it is great to see someone with a great passion for the game taking steps to improve the game in this amazing country! There are lots of very good questions and suggestions that you should definitely take into account here that I won't bother repeating. Although! One thing I would love to see tackled is more involvement of Australia's fantastic A-League active support groups in the Socceroo's home games around the nation. The A-League can boast of its fantastic atmosphere thanks to groups like the Blue and White Brigade at Melbourne Victory, The Cove at Sydney FC, The Den at Brisbane Roar, The Shed at Perth Glory. I feel it is an opportunity missed when this electric atmosphere is missing from Socceroo's home games to showcase our passionate football culture to the wider population who might be exposed to a football game for the first time to see what it is all about - young or old. All it takes is a bit of organisation and collaboration with these groups and we can have an active support that rivals even the best countries. Make our "Australian Home End" the best in the world please!! I note there is a group called the Green and Gold Army, who are trying to instill this passionate active fan support at Socceroo's games but have been troubled with issues such as uncooperative stadiums and security and low communication to the general public in regards to active support seating requirements and expectations. Please David, work with our excellent supporter groups! Regards from a fellow football fanatic
Dan of BWB  |  
15 Nov 2012 09:03 PM
welcome mate and good luck :) this page is a good start
c  |  
15 Nov 2012 08:49 PM
Welcome David and congratulations on your appointment. Without beating around the bush, top of my wish list by far is an FFA Cup. There are tens of thousands of NSL fans who were left feeling disengaged as "new football" rolled in. These are the fans we need to start rebuilding bridges with, because ultimately they share the same passion we do for the game. The Cup is a great way to start building those bridges. Also, plastic chairs need to go. Our games are being broadcast all over the world including Italy...a professional image is so important and so underrated. Thanks for listening
Adrian  |  
15 Nov 2012 07:08 PM
congrats on receiving the job of CEO of Australian football i think you will have great success and you will make football a more watchable and loveable game fr all nationalities in Australia. i believe with a new CEO Australian Football has to take new steps to move forward to compete and out play rival codes like AFL NRL and Union. these steps i believe will make the A league a league in football that every footballer will want to come and play for , i believe the A league should scrap the salary cap and leave every club for themselves this will show what clubs are able to do with fan support, but also it will show how clubs will become successful buy managing and promoting there team to the fans and new fans within there stat or local area, this will now lead to developing a second grade competition which will allow teams to be prompted or regulated allowing clubs to fight for something pride, passion and power among fellow rival teams. this will make more fans turn up to watch the game to support their team throughout the journey win which the favourite players will be experiencing during the season, such as the highs and lows. the second grade comp will allow the best teams from different state leagues to compete against each other but also allow new young or old talent to experience a new football career in which all young boys and girls wanted to achieve . this second grade comp will see big sponsors or people with big money to be able to fund there local club but also allow teams to grow and make the A league a place that everyone wants to be apart of weather your playing or supporting i believe the A league should be promoting its game a lot more signing the new broadcasting deal will allow fans to watch more games but also allow the A league to compete with the monopoly in which Foxtel currently holds, this will allow for more money being pumped into FFA the A league should be pushing and risking there money to buy big marquee players like Kaka, pirlo, Ronney, as example this will get bums on seats and more money and promotion throughout the world last but not least the FFA should create a new trophy like the FA cup where players travel to asia, europe to play teams that are competing in this cup it will show big teams against little teams world class clubs against other world class clubs but most of all the support for the teams will be unreal, in saying that the players will enjoy it as theres more money but more trophies to be won in their season to be honest i could write for days David but i hope you read this and take it on board I'm not pointing out the negatives of the A league I'm pointing out ways in which the A league can become a treat to the world and rival codes in australia, i hope you read all comments but i know your to busy but if you agree and like what you hear have a meeting with the people to address these things because if we work as one the A league will become just as good a the EPL, serie A and other codes email me david i will be looking forward to hearing from you daniel.oliver21@gmail.com
daniel  |  
15 Nov 2012 05:16 PM
Hi David Congratulations on your new role. The key themes that I believe should drive football in Australia, and therefore your work in your position, are for football to have a world competitive international teams at all levels based on a strong and sustainable local structure of competitions (from the A League down), a world class, country-wide coaching system, and a expectation that Australian teams will play attacking, technically skilful football. It's certainly not good enough to aim to be ordinary nor even to accept being above average, eg just reaching the World Cup finals. Australians need to be competitive with anyone in the late knockout stages of all international competitions. I expect the FFA to deliver a World Cup in your and my lifetimes! Don
Don  |  
15 Nov 2012 03:12 PM
Welcome Gallop, 2 things - 1. bench size needs to be extended. it is almost pathetic that this league that is trying to grow only allows 4 players on the bench. 2. A state wide and/or country wide cup. get the local community involved with big clubs, lots of reward could come from this. good luck
Sam  |  
15 Nov 2012 02:40 PM
In terms of things that need to be done now, or continued with: - increase bench size from 4 to 7 (on par with the BPL and other major leagues) - let teams use the designated dugouts in stadiums instead of those silly plastic chairs (I know, a bit superficial, but it definitely makes our league look less professional to people watching) - continue with the current state league/Australian premier league redevelopment as this can only help improve the standard of those leagues - FTA TV component - help teams with setting up academies - loosen the current FFA sponsorship deals, allowing a-league teams more freedom in their pursuit for sponsors and ultimately sustainability As well as this I feel that after the 2015 Asian cup (which hopefully we will win, or atleast reach the final) we should look to introduce two new teams in Canberra and either Wollongong or Townsville
Glory Till I Die  |  
15 Nov 2012 02:32 PM
Great initiative Mr Gallop - find out what is wanted directly from those who really matter. My suggestion for the advancement of the game is to (as soon as possible) bring together the best sides from the new APL state leagues to form a new national second tier competition. There doesn't have to be automatic promotion/relegation to and from the A-League, just a smaller pool of 'elite' players outside the A-league itself. The smaller pool makes for greater competition and better opportunities for players, coaches and officials to prove themselves. Good luck, and hope you can take the game forward to a bigger, brighter future.
Ben FXISM  |  
15 Nov 2012 01:57 PM
Hi David, welcome to the team. We hope that the good work can continue since the inception of the FFA. As a 23 year old, the grassroots is not in my personal interests, but from reading the other opinions it seems as though fees needs to be reduced, and we must remember that football is not motor racing, it shouldn't favour the rich. Talent is talent and that should be the only predominant factor when providing costing models. As an amateur player, I find that the registration fees are very high, and the club do not make much money from the fees. Is there transparency in how the amounts are spent from the federations? Aside from that, football is on the way up and the items implemented in youth programs are on the right track.
Patrick  |  
15 Nov 2012 01:35 PM
Welcome aboard David and congratulations on your appointment. I am writing to you about inserting the word Football or a derivative of the word Football into both the national mens and womens league names and mens national team nickname. This has already been done of course in the national body , now known as Football Federation Australia. However this refreshing development in the national bodies name clearly needs to continue right the way through the entire structure. My suggestions are as follows: A-League changes to Football Federation League ( FFL ) . W-League changes to Womens Football Federation League ( WFFL ) . Socceroos / Socceroo changes to Footyroos / Footyroo. Young Socceroos / Young Socceroo changes to Young Footyroos / Young Footyroo. Japan (J-League) and Korea (K-League) for example, do not have the same hostile environment that we find ourselves in, here in Australia, from the AFL , NRL and ARU, so J-League and K-League would suffice in their respective home markets. However, clearly this complete absence of the word Football in the League name is holding back the acceptance of Football to the masses. This vacuum is currently been filled in by inserting the word Soccer to describe the A-League rather than Football by it's opponents. The catchy part of Football Federation League would be the abbreviation of “FFL”. Also when the news is on the TV and the ticker tape scrolls on the bottom of the TV screen. FFL and WFFL would greatly help to market the sport as Football. It is very Australian to call Football, “Footy”. It is also very Australian to call Kangaroo, “Roo”. These two very Australian words, once joined together, form the very Australian words of Footyroos and Footyroo. Also the letter “y” in the words Footyroos and Footyroo can be made into the tail of a Kangaroo and upper portion of letter “y” into the main body of the kangaroo holding one or more of the “o” letters which can now be made into one or more footballs by a marketing company. Plus Footyroos and Footyroo are very catchy words in their own right, which is helpful for marketing purposes. Currently however the nickname of Socceroos/Socceroo is currently used by Footballs opponents to call the sport Soccer rather than Football, thus holding back the acceptance of this sport as Football in Australia. 1) W-League to be curtain raiser for A-League or other male football divisions when ever this is possible. 2) W-League players need to have more radio station interviews etc on radio stations like Radio SEN as well more TV interviews etc. 3) Those clubs / organisations that are still registered as a “soccer club / organisation” should be encouraged to register as a Football club/organisation. When ever this is not possible , then they should be encouraged to register as a “Association Football club / organisation” and have the AFC acronym at the end of a clubs name. So for example, Gold Coast United would become Gold Coast United AFC. Please make it happen Mr David Gallop.
David  |  
15 Nov 2012 01:25 PM
Welcome Mr Gallop, first of all i would like to mention that in the past and currently Australia are not very good at holding onto young talented players, we have lost many players in the past to other nations and i do not want to lose anymore talent if possible If North Queensland Fury come back i think it should be done very much in the same way WSW were brought into the competition through fan forums, if they are brought back without any fan forums then i think the original name should be kept, that team always had massive potential and should have never been cut from the league good luck
Chris  |  
15 Nov 2012 12:58 PM
"Both my son and my daughter played football as youngsters and I helped coach and even occasionally refereed their games at Queen’s Park in Sydney." Hi David, By the time you get down to this post you might have detected a sniff of the broad discontent surrounding juniors. Perhaps a weekend or two touring the parks where you used to help out might be informative? Check and see if anything has changed for the better. See if the coaching is still done by Mums and Dads who have little if any extensive knowledge of the game. Ask about while you're there and see if you can come up with some figures for the cost of the investment parents have to make in the game. It was great that you helped out all those years ago. It really was. The same thing happens all over the country still every weekend in season. Did you have a coaching or refereeing qualification? Make a few enquiries of other sports, say swimming and gymnastics. Compare the cost of the programs with the value and professionalism of the product delivered. Check and see if the trainers/coaches have qualifications. Have a good one and we all look forward to the next few years and your benefit to the game.
Boney  |  
15 Nov 2012 12:18 PM
Welcome David. But I'm not happy; we Gold Coast United supporters have been let down by the FFA. I feel I can't support the game anymore because of what has happened to Gold Coast United. I hope I can get back on board with a new Gold Coast team in the near future. Please do all you can to support the plan from our Mayor Tom Tate and the new found local business consortium looking to have Chinese investors finance a team on the Coast.
Qantas supports Australian Football  |  
15 Nov 2012 11:56 AM
Hi David, welcome to football. My suggestion is to introduce an FA Cup style competition that brings in the top state league clubs and winners of the premier divison of each local league. The excitement of local and lower levels teams doing a bit of "giant killing" is one of the best aspects of the game. My own belief is that the state league teams will be very competitive with ALeague sides. If this comp was broadcast on Free to Air TV it would bring in a whole new audience to the game. Anyway good luck!
Brian Hogan  |  
15 Nov 2012 11:20 AM
Hello David and welcome. I have never been a fan of the NRL but I have to admit, I could not deny the brand and product that it is and I think a lot of the credit to the success of it came from you. Through thick and thin, I always admired your transparency and 100% commitment to your job and to the people of the code it represented. I'm very excited you have joined the Australian football family and I wish you all the success to make this the true, giant sporting code in this country and especially, I hope you enjoy your time at the helm.
Dennis Fernandes  |  
15 Nov 2012 10:09 AM
Welcome David to Football Federation Australia. In my lifetime I have witnessed the highs and lows of being an Australian Football supporter. In some ways it was a difficult time being an Australian football fan in the 80's and 90's. I watched in anticipation for us to qualify for every World Cup, and while we came close it would happen until 2006. Well so much has changes since then. Anyway the major issue I have is that youth is the key to the ongoing future of Australian football. Countries that invest in youth, youth development and training are the ones that get the right rewards. While Australia is doing a better job we are heading in the right direction, I still think that we need to improve. I do think that we have a problem in this country identifying talent and nurturing this talent. We have seen clubs like Central Coast Mariners, Newcastle and Melbourne Heart invest in the youth and they have been rewarded for doing so. Newcastle and Central Coast will have centres of excellence. I think it is not enough that they are the only ones doing so. There should be youth academies for every A-League club, from the age of 8 years and up. This should be a must, so we can develop our players at the right age. There needs to be an emphasis on a community level for the search of young talent and then nursing this talent into the right environment. Like what is done in Europe. Unfortunately I have seen some of our best talent left behind and they usually don't make it as a professional footballer. I also think, like many others mention on the many forums that the fees are too expensive for many young players and families who are trying to get into a select team or academy. Why not reward young technical players with scholarships in every region around Australia and then give them the right technical skills so they can develop properly. and lastly Player Transfers, Feeder clubs within the states to the A-League and also youth academy set-ups would benefit wisely if they received decent transfer fees for would be talented young players. The money needs to flow on so in-turn every selective club in Australia that develops these players would be able to continue developing the next crop of players with the best information, coaching and techniques. Good luck David, and I hope the Giant has awoken.
Antony  |  
15 Nov 2012 08:20 AM
Welcome to football David, I have 2 issues which if advance will serve to make the code more successful but will reduce the negatives. The first is to actually penetrate the mainstream radio, press and TV sports programming. It just isn't enough to rate a half page in the 8th back page of the major metro dailies after a weekend round of fixtures. The second is to implement a zero tolerance policy to dissent and language directed at referees or their decisions. It is really difficult to tell a team of children never to speak to a refereee when their "role models" often are able to escape without any penalty for abuse which can be clearly lipread as being unacceptable. If the referees blitzed it, they would have made it extinct within 3 rounds. We all know they make howling mistakes more often than is acceptable but we have to learn to suck it up, be adults and move on without telling them what we think.
Gricey  |  
15 Nov 2012 01:02 AM
David , reading this site , the support and welcome you have received by those people who have such an affection for the game is a humbling and moving experience. The people want to have the chance to be engaged and while they have many ideas one pervading message is unification through the tiers of the sport. Football despite its issues of capital available for development presents so many points of engagement in community. The players , coaches , parents , managers , sponsors , teachers, facilities all aspire for improvement. We can do better and working with the people who have offered best wishes and other like-minded souls we can take football to a new level if the willingness is to maintain a relationship with community 12 month=s a year. Football in Australia , can show other sport , parts of government and community valuable strategies to deal with societal issues. If rugby is played by private schools , why not embed a private schools football , coaching,club management, and refereeing syllabus program as a carrot to engage with schools. Football can use technology to assist development , council libraries to manage resources , councils can have access to event resources for youth week , volunteers program and social engagement. Football in australia can show Asia new ideas to assist in sports science , stakeholder development but we may need to manufacture football product somehow,' Football will evolve and where it goes is ultimately up to how the sport is managed working with people day in day out , good luck. Tony
Tony Thorpe  |  
14 Nov 2012 11:47 PM
Dear Mr Gallop, firstly congratulations on your appointment. I have read through all the comments submitted already and I whole heartedly endorse those parents that comment on player registration costs, espsecially for the kids. Costs must be lowered, and this starts by making state and zonal federations stop from charging fees for nothing. The FFA should run the game, not the states, and the sooner this happens the better in my books. The elite player pathway is discriminatory and only favours those willing to pay, this means that those that can't pay are excluded from the game and advancing to state and national competitions, this has to be stopped. Anyway, enough of my complaints, good luck with the job. ps Bring back the Fury !!!
Jeff G  |  
14 Nov 2012 10:29 PM
David, any number of the above points are good ones for you to work on. From a top down basis we need to ensure that future national coaches will give players from the A-League a shot at international football, this becomes somewhat self sustaining for the A-league in that if players can make the national team whilst playing in Australia more may be likely to stay, in turn the quality of the league will go up and from that we should be able to generate increased revenues from future broadcast deals and through increased sponsorship arrangements. I think it will be important to loosen the strings in relation to sponsorship's that clubs can obtain as well. I have commented before in a different article about the possibility of the governing body being the manager for youth league players, we do lose many very early, we have to keep in mind that player agents are not interested in player development so much as their percentage of any fee they can get from an overseas club. As pointed out the quality of our coaches at the top level is becoming very good but this needs to filter down. Future broadcast deals particularly the fox component should include W-League coverage. Not sure how you deal with the biased media outlets but would be a great thing, I mean fox pay the money at this point but even on their sport news channel they can relegate football news surely more current because the season is running unlike the rugby codes but put it after news related to them. They do have conflict in that they are throwing lots of cash to those codes as well. FTA is fine but only if they are going to commit to football, give the public live games, football related programmes as well! Their are a raft of other issues as you go down the line, reducing the cost for players at the grass roots level is important to keep them in the game, but the pathways forward have to be kept wide. I worry that as we develop a single curriculum are we narrowing the pathways to much. In areas where the quality of the players allows for it association need the capacity to have numerous teams at the highest level, we cannot allow players to be turned away or lost to the game because they cannot make a team in a certain area purely because that area only has the one representative team. Sure some kids and their parents will take them to different areas to trial but we need to recognise that sometimes in some areas you may just get a large crop of quality kids come through and we need them all to get the opportunities. This will have to do with talent identification and coaching, the universal roll out of the national curriculum should assist that. That will do for now - there is a lot more to say, but I will get my thoughts in order first. Go you wanderers
Erik  |  
14 Nov 2012 03:11 PM
Well done on the new role. The FFA will benefit from your broad experience. Plenty of good issues raised by others so I will raise one simple issue that will grow A League crowds and the supporter base across the country. It is an issue in World Football and it would be great to see Australia take a strong lead. Stop players diving! There are tonnes of fringe supporters who turn off their TV's and don't go to games because of the un-Australian and synical diving that goes on. You can hear the cringing across our great country. Have a judicial review system during the week. A referee can put a dive 'on report' (you know those words!) and it can be reviewed by an expert judicial panel away from the heat of the game. First offence $5,000 fine. Second offence $10,000 fine. Third offence, go and find another sport. It will be a massively popular rule change. Watch the crowds grow! FIFA will sit up and take notice. A great way for Australia to show some leadership in World Football. Best of luck in the role. Ignore the haters!
Simon  |  
14 Nov 2012 01:17 PM
Woohoo! I got the very first comment in. This blog is a great way to start hearing everyone's opinions, but what's next? Live forums are a waste of time as they get dominated by a few loud-mouths and the herd follows. Why not start an online opinions site so we can open threads on each of the raised topics and get some specific discussion happening - and you can respond and add your thoughts. I'd be great to have some "experts" providing input as well. I have two daughters who play and whom I coach, plus I play and hold a position at the club (and am a Roar member), so I have lots of ideas - but too many for this media.
Ben of BNE  |  
14 Nov 2012 11:46 AM
Hello there Mr Gallop. Welcome to Football. My comments are many, as we all share opinions. But I do have a pressing issue that is close to my heart. My son is 4 years old and it cost $180 for him to have 45 minutes a week on the junior pitch running around. no games, and nor should there be. Shorts $25, shirt promised but did not come, socks $10, shin pads $15, boots on sale for $40. The said that most of the cost was insurance, but they told us that if we had private insurance to use this. I asked whether I get a discount then for having private insurance they said no. For me to play as a father was $500, in a metro league. And we live a in a low socio-economic suburb in south east Queensland. Out of the 14 children that were here with my son this season passed, only two are returning for the next season. The AFL Auskick costs $65 per season and the parents get 4 tickets to a live game, with the children entering for free. Shirt and bag included. Budgets are so tight. The costs of sending a child to play football is too expensive. And for me as a parent. To attend a live game is as well very costly. for the same cost as going to one live game a month, I can get Foxtel for the month and watch all of the games around the world. I can't do either due to its still too costly, but I would rather go to a game then buy Foxtel. Going to a game is what breathes the passion and excitement into the little ones. Creates dreams and vision. We watch the highlights on the A-League website to see the goals after listening to the game on a local radio station. Not everyone has the money to participate, to watch the games and to support the league financially. But we still love the game and will find any way to stay in touch with our favourite A-League teams and the mighty socceroos. I understand costs are rising and as they do, its makes it that much harder to support the game. My two cents worth of course, and thank you for allowing me to pass this through to you. Peter.
Peter  |  
14 Nov 2012 08:59 AM
Welcome to real football, with all the hype about the A League and the new APL please do not forget the Grass Roots because that is where it all starts for players coaches and lets not forget referees, I feel far too much of our financial resources, our time is put into the elite and not enough into helping the grass roots level, at the moment it appears to go one way "upwards" and not enough comes back to where it all begins.
Mel Downes  |  
14 Nov 2012 08:23 AM
Welcome to the world game football Mr Gallop. My first and only wish from you and FFA is to please spend some money advertising the A-League, i think that by doing that it will surly arouse more interest in the game. I live in Melbourne and the only think that is see on the media is afl this and afl that to the extent that it turns my stomach, i can only stand so much of it, so please a little bit of advertisement for the beautiful game..
Charlie  |  
14 Nov 2012 07:57 AM
Welcome Dave, I hope the game brings many years of sucess and happiness for you and your family, and you to it.
James  |  
14 Nov 2012 01:43 AM
Hi David, first Congratulations and good luck . I have read most of the previous articules and as a football supporter and a parent of a 10 yr old NSW PYL player , I agree with what everyone said here but mostly: excessive players fees, grassroot program, state and national competitions, quality of coaching, longer season, elite programs, Free to air Aleague, young socceroos games on tv, private academies regulations, refereeing training and many many more improvements that maybe on the rock bottom of your "to do list". However, I believe that to take this game to the next level, lots of improvements are needed in addition to all the good work done in the last few years. I would like to make this recommendations: many elite countries in the football world were in our position one day in the past, so why can't we learn more about what few of them did to get to where they are now so maybe a team of experts can visit some of those countries and research what were the common steps taken by these countries that led to their success in the world game and try to make a 5 years plan to implement those steps to our game here in Australia. This is just an idea from an averages person but a big game supporter. Good luck.
Jay Yazbek  |  
14 Nov 2012 12:08 AM
Firstly, well done on your appointment David, Football Australia is lucky to have your skills and dedication. I grew up playing League and only started playing soccer and forming any interest in the game 4 years ago, but am really enjoy playing it with my mates. However, I feel there are some big issues which need to be addressed for soccer to truly advance in Aus. Especially with the start finish dates of the season, there is definitely room for soccer along side other codes. However, I want to outline some of my issues as a newbie with watching and playing the sport, as even my life-long soccer mates still watch and get more excited about other codes more often than soccer and not just because of its poor television coverage. Which leads me to my first point: • S**t coverage. I hear more about EPL than A League. Even though it’s not close to the same class, it’s not good enough. • It costs twice as much to play soccer for seniors and juniors as it does to play other codes. It cost me $400 to play last season (same $ as other clubs in region), whereas, League and Union cost $140 and $160. Hate to be paying for a family of players. How are you going to improve as a middle class sport and gain a future competitive advantage if this is the case? • I grew up playing sport the best I could and would never stay down unless I was honestly injured, foul or no foul. It is pathetic to see players acting injured to get an advantage whether it is a genuine penalty or not. It is even more disappointing to see juniors and club level players copying these cowardly, dishonest tactics. Players also complain even when the game is still in play?? I hated seeing Isaac Luke fake it before the finals last year too. Something needs to be done. Soccer is a great game and has huge potential, and I hope to change my mind on these issues in the near future. Good luck.
B  |  
13 Nov 2012 11:34 PM
Big congrats on your new post. I think we need to bring the game to grass roots and spread the message in the wider community. I am British born of Indian origin and been very happy living in Sydney for the last 6 years plus. Both my now teenage boys have played football in the Hills area from u/8s onwards at varying levels from 3rd div to super league as well as regional cups. However I have noticed a distinct lack of South Asians ( Indian sub-Continent ) players playing football. We need to promote it to more ethnic minorities through the community and make it a true multi-cultural game. If you go to the average EPL game in England about 5-10% of the spectators will be of Indian origin and even a higher percentage playing in the saturday and sunday leagues. We need to bring that level of interest into Australian Football to. As well with other under represnted minorities. I suggest you appoint a Football Ambassador in various areas and regiona and leverage of their local connections and community access to promote the game further. I would be happy to stand up and take on such a role for the Hills area etc. Otherwise I think Australia and the A league are making good and steady progress and keep up the good work. However do contact me to discuss this area and maybe we can create a forum to discuss this matter more widely.
Sunil Bhakri  |  
13 Nov 2012 11:06 PM
Welcome aboard Mr Gallop to the Football fraternity. It is great to see someone with your experience in the sporting administration side becoming involved in Football. There will be many challenges ahead for football to succeed in this country. However, with your expertise, knowledge, and the backing of the whole Football family behind you. No challenge will be to great. I commend the FFA on your appointment and wish you the best of luck in this exciting era of Football.
Ralph  |  
13 Nov 2012 09:56 PM
Welcome Mr Gallop, I wish you the very best in running our sport. Here's a few things for consideration. Trying to takeover the title of "football" is not working - sure it's what most of the world call it - but we have 3 other codes all using the same term. The Australian culture is such that our sport will never be accepted as mainstream football. In fact, I think it is seen as a barrier to creating credibility with other code followers. Australia is unique in having four major 'football' codes all competing for the attracting major sponsors - we should use the term soccer to our advantage. Stop using the term 'sleeping giant' - it has been around for many years. We should just accept that at best soccer will be the No.3 football code and we should all drop the ridiculous notion that one day all the AFL and NRL supporters will "see the light". It just won't happen. The FTA TV is very important - but it has to be carefully controlled. I have pay TV but at times I find it hard to watch some A-League games, especially when teams can't keep the ball or one team defends a lead and has no interest in scoring and the game becomes boring. Junior (and senior) rego fees must be lowered or maintained. The insurance component of rego fees is hefty and in most cases meaningless. If a player has personal insurance, they should be exempt from having to pay extra insurance in rego fees. The current A league season has started well, but I have concerns already about the empty seats at Melbourne Heart and Adelaide games. Not all is as rosy as some think. How to keep kids in the 12-16 age bracket in the game - too many leave it.b Soccer's place in the media - it is improving but there are certain journalists who take every chance to discredit the game. We should push the 'world game' and international competitiveness angle relentlessly. It is the one main advantage soccer has over the other codes in attracting corporate sponsorship. Of the other 'football' codes, one has no international competition and one has New Guinea ranked as number 4 in the world! And the other code has that sporting giant of New Zealand as the bench mark. The cost of senior coaching courses and licenses. To get to the C license costs about $2k and a week off work. Now some things that really bug me about the game: I know it will be next to impossible to have our own modified rules but we should have a sin bin for deliberate pulling shirts and 'rugby' tackling by a defender when a speedy attacker gets past him. I hate this and see it is detriment to a game trying to establish it's credibility in the TV and spectator world. Stamp out the 'good sport' theme of kicking the ball out if a player goes down injured. Leave it to the referee to make the call. Too many times a team is robbed of a good attacking opportunity by a so called injury that suddenly disappears after play is stopped and it gets a rub or spray. This is not conducive to TV appeal and gaining respect from the fence sitters, especially when the players are supposed to be elite athletes. Officials need to be reminded about the part they play in establishing the wider appeal. In a game where goals matter in attracting sponsorship and bums on seats, too often we see line ball off-side decisions not giving advantage to the attacking team. 2 seasons ago the big Syd v Melb match had heaps of build up and coverage and finished 0-0 after incorrect off-side decisions impacted the result - and all the main stream media could focus on later was that no goals were scored. Sure a 0-0 game can be enthralling for us diehards. But I'd rather see officials leaving the line ball decisions in favour of the attacking side than the consistent favouring of the defensive side. Our officials call so many soft fouls that you never see called in EPL games - 40-50 fouls per game is not conducive to getting TV ratings. We don't want to offer a product that the mainstream viewer rejects and forces it to late night replays.
Geoff B  |  
13 Nov 2012 08:52 PM
Welcome aboard David. It's great that you want to listen to everyone. I'm relatively new to going to football games. As an Australian kid I could never see myself attending club games here in Melbourne between JUST, Macedonia, Hellas, Croatia, Hakoah etc. and went to Aussie Rules games. However, this is my third year as a Melbourne Heart member. Just as I want Australia to be the number one ranking football nation in Asia, so I want the A League to be the number one national club competition in Asia and then to aim even higher for the A League. I cannot see this happening with what is currently a very low salary cap structure. Except in the USA, football competitions worldwide don't have a salary cap. I can accept a salary cap if the aim is to make it substantially higher - clubs need not be forced to pay their players 90% or 100% of that higher salary cap. I believe we should also move to allow clubs to have more than just 2 marquees outside the salary cap. Say 3 next season, 4 the year after, then 5, then 6. It is very frustrating to me to see young players leaving our competition to play elsewhere in Asia because our clubs are not in a position - or not allowed to by the salary cap restraints - to pay them a going world market rate salary based on their ability. Such as Melbourne Heart's 19 years old defender Brendan Hamill who a few months ago joined Korean club Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma. I want us to also reach the stage where quality young players don’t all feel that they must go overseas to improve, or to further their careers or to earn a much higher income than can be paid here under salary cap restraints. I want us to reach the stage where we have a number of quality players who are Socceroo regulars, who earn just as good money as they could get by playing overseas, and who play most if not their entire careers in the A League. So we need to aim for a payment structure that allows a financially rewarding career to be made by staying in Australia if a player so chooses and not being forced to go overseas. I also believe that we need to allow transfer fees between A League clubs. Otherwise the incentive is for an A League club to sell a good player overseas and obtain a transfer fee instead of clearing the player to another A League club and receiving nothing. I also want us to think big and aim for at least some of our clubs to attract world class players in the prime of their careers to play in the A League. Just imagine the impct of Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the A League today instead of for Real Madrid! This seems like a pipe dream. But we must think big. And put no limits on the A League. We must not assume the best the A League can become is as a feeder competition to the Premier League etc.
Neil  |  
13 Nov 2012 07:45 PM
Welcome to the football family and as the head of the family you carry the responsibility to continue to drive the game forward in Australia. You're the right man for the job and I am optimistic about the future and what you bring to our game. The future of football hinges on the quality of our home grown talent pure and simple. Further focus needs to be directed at our juniors and more importantly coaching. Some key performance measures (transparent to the football community) would be ideal to see if we're tracking to a 5 year/10 year plan. I gauge our success by how we perform at major tournaments - If we qualify - and that's very subjective and tainted by emotion and opinion. Good luck and there'll be no shortage of people telling you what you should be doing - me included.
Rob  |  
13 Nov 2012 05:41 PM
Hi David. As parents of two kids living in Albury who have represented at State & National level for the past few years, it's tough to explain to them that at 14 & 15 respectively, they're too old and there's nowhere else to go to further their careers. * There is no competition at a National level after the age of 15 for girls and 14 for boys that severely limiting the opportunities for kids - particularly for those living in regional areas. * Again for regional kids the only opportunities for future development after the age of 15 are confined to metropolitan areas which requires upwards of 4 hours of travel each way several times a week to access training or playing in metro clubs & competitions. * In NSW the Junior development opportunities are being wound back by Football NSW which is very short sighted. Junior Development Officers who have advocated development of regional players have recently been removed. * The cost of Player registration is relatively quite high compared to other sports and very little of that money seems to be returned to the development of the players, and it would appear that the Juniors are supporting the Senior ranks which is opposite to other major codes. For our kids living in Albury NSW the only opportunity for them to continue in their chosen sport will require them to travel many hours each week to Melbourne or Canberra which is not feasible or practical. In my opinion the competitions should continue at a National level until at least the age of 18 for both sexes to provide the opportunity to grow and develop against their peers even if they decide not to continue in the game into adulthood. Given the costs borne by parents of players for the National Youth Championships (over $1,000 per player to enter, plus travel and accommodation costs for parents & family members to watch) surely the costs of running the tournaments cannot exceed the income generated by the costs? Why is it not possible to continue running these tournaments to ensure development of the young players and provide a pathway or incentive to keep playing. Good luck with the job.
Stephen  |  
13 Nov 2012 04:43 PM
Hi David, Congratulations and good luck. I think what football needs is exposure and accessibility. The A-league and associated leagues need to come out of pay-tv and be shown on free to air. Or even be shown delayed on free to air, SBS do a great covarage of other matches but seriously without exposure football will play second fiddle to the other codes. Also entry fees for our young to learn and play the beautiful game need to be at a reasonable rate that way you give most a chance to at least get exposure to the game and who knows we may get the next Messi!! While OzKick is around $50 Goalkick is $200.00 or so and as a grassroots coach it's the common comment mentioned by parents.
Cesar  |  
13 Nov 2012 03:20 PM
Congratulations on your appointment. I have a question I hope you could follow up, The women are currently Asian champions and made the quarter finals in the world cup.Achieving 9th in the world rankings ,,and also the highest Accolades in Football in Australia. Why did the NSWIS womens football program get cancelled ? But the Mens is still running?
James De Souza  |  
13 Nov 2012 02:51 PM
The level of exposure of the A-League to non football fans needs improvement. I would like to see the A-League on the back page of the newspaper and leading the sports news on tv more. In Melb, even in the heart of the A-League season, and in the AFL off-season, we'll often have an AFL story leading the news bulletin, and sometimes a pretty minor one at that. I also reckon that more 'casual exposure' will pique the interest of people who haven't so far taken a look at the product (ie gone to a game). So, promotion of the league in all forms of media is the thing I'd like to see ramped up. Then, the clubs will be more profitable, and will be able to give more back to the fans.
Mark  |  
13 Nov 2012 02:30 PM
Mr Gallop, what a great opportunity you have in front of you. Listening to your staff and the people to determine the end game is paramount. Clearly communicating this to the people will enlist the support you need. Defining strategy and ensuring its execution to achieve the end game is the greatest challenge for any CEO. A lot of people have lost sight of the end game or given up hoping things will change for the better. There's no question that whether it's club, rep, national or professional level football the operation must be financially viable. Transparency in the utilization of fees will either set people's minds at ease or highlight areas of concern. This is possibly more critical at the rep football club or state management where fees appear to be excessive, lack transparency and excluding talented players from participation. You could write a list a mile long of the individual details in need of improvement but without money in the bank through good management it's just a wish list. Good luck
Steve G  |  
13 Nov 2012 02:18 PM
Congrats David with the appointment My only advice is that you realize here and now that football and everything that comes with it is the complete opposite from what you know of other sports in this nation and for that we've been persecuted and belittled but for no reason should those opinions and accusations ever stop us from achieving all that we love about football. Good luck and Go MVFC
Luke Gaskett  |  
13 Nov 2012 01:45 PM
Hi David, A burning question is: we all know that many media agencies have vested interests in NRL, and hence do not mention, or mention negative articles, about Football. We as a community need to tackle this issue. Obviously with your background, it could be a help or a hinderence. I wish to know your plan to tackle this vital issue once you have settled in the job.
Mike  |  
13 Nov 2012 01:31 PM
Welcome on board Dave, glad to know someone of your experience have decided to join the beautiful game. I think our game lacks people with passion for the game in the administration area, no disrespect to you at all, as you have a wealth of expereience, but would be great to start also feeding back the Directive of the future, just as we are currently doing with players, and grassroots.
Pablo  |  
13 Nov 2012 12:44 PM
G'day Big Dave, love to have you on our radio show "Two up Front" on 88.3 SouthernFM Melbourne (www.twoupfront.com.au). Need to chat to you about the greatest challenge facing our game and that is the development of media expertise. Maybe the FFA can set up scholarship to encourage the next generation's stars or a fund/grant to assist in the development of radio or tv shows and related media content - this is the key to success as it will lead to a culture of engagement that is fan driven. The other codes have learned the power of the media, we haven't yet. Nuff said. Get your people to talk to mine, and lets chew da fat. Do it, just do it. Joe.
Joe Novella  |  
13 Nov 2012 12:07 PM
Thanks for letting me tell you what needs to be done. First very important thing you need to do is immediately suspend high fees registrations for juniors. The new season is to start in Jen/Feb and I already have a letter from my club to pay $900 for my son 14 years of age..The other club (S. Melbourne ) wants $3500????? This is not sport for rich and privileged kids it’s football and every child should have a chance to play at the club level. Davis , please take this as your most important thing to be done in your new administration .
Gorgi  |  
13 Nov 2012 11:29 AM
Welcome David, obviously the task you have at hand is very time consuming to say the least. However I'm sure that with your prvious experience you will be able to once again put soccer in the limelight. My first question is why isn't there more free to air tv showing soccer games? not just the highlights but the full game. We tend to show a lot more international football on the TV than our own national league. Secondly there should be a team on the Gold Coast, Australia's 6th largest city. What happened last year with Gold Coast United has left a huge hole in allowing junior players the right to watch there local team play. All politics aside a team is a team and I thought a team was generally made up of players from the surrounding region so as to allow the next generation to flow through. We are not promoting our own talent enough and therfore creating a gap in the standard of play. Also the entry fees to go watch a game are expensive. I'm a single father with 2 competitive boys. We are not allowed to take our own food or drink into the stadium and therefore a day at the soccer costs around $110 each second weekend and that is before we look at buying any merchandise. I can understand adults paying but kids under 13 should not pay, this would make the cost of attending a soccer game more affordable and therefore you would get more people through the gate. Paying $4.00 for a bottle of water and then another $4.00 for an icecream is ridiculous. last time I checked you could by a 1 litre bottle of water from the supermarket for $1.50 and a 2litre tub for $4.00. I do understand the cost of running a stadium and the cost of insurance but there has to be a trade off somewhere. Now with no A league soccer on the Gold Coast not even a game where Brisbane come and play you have just not only made a game more expensive but more time consuming should I wish to take my kids to a game in Brisbane. Skilled park is now sitting empty until next Rugby League Season agreat investment by the state gov't. David enough from me, just show us some change and make the fans happy. I know my 2 boys would appreciate it.
Andrew Koulouris  |  
13 Nov 2012 10:50 AM
Congratulations David! Its great to see you engaging directly with supporters through your blog. It seems many people in sport are nervous about exposing themselves like this, but when you overcome the barrier, the benefits are fantastic. Good luck!
Jim from Sportaroo  |  
13 Nov 2012 10:22 AM
Welcome aboard David and congratulations on your appointment. I admired what you had achieved with the NRL and hope you can bring similar success to FFA. There are many things which we can still improve in the game and I am happy that you are willing to speak to as many football folk as possible. I am hoping that you do conduct a number of fan forums in each state and territory to really research the footballing landscape and subsequently using the knowlege to help grow the game especially from grassroots conversion into the state teams and Aleague teams. We do need expansion but in the right areas. One area which often gets neglected for building a national competition on is the Northern Terriorty where there is great potential to build the first ever Terriotry team in a national competition to be very successful something where both AFL, NRL & cricket have failed to tap into despite the great players they have found from its rich multicultural landscape. This would be one area I would love the Aleague to reach including maybe using the regional round to place one game there alternating between Alice Springs and Darwin. Another thing I would love to see is the a good television deal which suits all teams and fans so that clubs get the opportunity of maximising the opporunity to bring more people to games and also to assist clubs to get better stadium deals as the case is with Perth Glory we have been duded at NIB which doesnt offer much opportunity for our club to make money due to its high rental costs with everything they hire. I believe it would be great when situations like this happen that FFA do step in and help negotiate fair deals for all clubs when it comes to stadium deals so that every club has opportunity to not be in the red financially and we do not have the situations as the case was with North Qld and Gold Coast where its to the fans and clubs detrimet to cap crowds
Daryl  |  
13 Nov 2012 09:42 AM
Dear David, A warm welcome to the Football Family and apologies for disrupting your Korean language lessons. As you have already confirmed, the game is in reasonable shape, however there is always room for improvement, despite resource constraints. I would like you to use your influence to improve Football specific facilities at all levels. A couple of examples: in 2010 the Football Federation of Victoria commissioned a study which found that almost 6,000 players were turned away from clubs because there were insufficient facilities or inadequate existing facilities to allow them to play. You will also be aware that in 2010 the FFA conducted an audit of Football facilities which showed they were inadequate in number and quality. The Football Family needs to develop plans to fill this gap by working closely with governments at all levels, empowering the clubs to invest in facilities, providing seed funding, constructing artificial surfaces etc so that clubs have long-term sustainable futures. The investment in facilities should focus on encouraging female participation, Futsal and revenue generation, as these are areas where there is room for significant growth. The investment in female-friendly facilities could see Women's Football, become the number 1 participant sport and sport of choice for girls and women. Futsal is also seriously under-resourced; why do we as a sport still accept hiring venues such as basketball and netball stadiums? Why don't we become the masters of our own destiny and construct and own these facilities with the revenues being re-invested in improving and developing new facilities? The Central Coast Mariners seem to be a good example of investing in facilities, whilst also broadening their revenue base. In general, in the past 'soccer' seems to have been the poor cousin when it came to government funding and allocation of sporting facilities, and this needs to stop. We need to take responsibility for our game and our future. I would also like to see the FFA build its own House of Football (maybe something like Rugby League Central in Sydney?). FIFA approved USD 0.5m for this a long time ago, but nothing has happened and that funding has now been re-directed towards a worthwhile, but short-sighted lighting project for the Football Federation of Victoria. Longer-term I would like the FFA to make a serious bid to host the Women's World Cup in 2019 (Canada hosts the next World Cup in 2015). This would be a boon for the Women's game (profile, participation, funding), and open Australian eyes to how good the Women's game is. Finally, please ignore those that want to change the Socceroos nickname. It is one of the most iconic, valuable and recognisable brands in Australian sport. It was first coined by a journalist in 1967 and has served the National Men's team proudly for 43 years. In fact maybe a celebration of the name should be planned for 2017 to celebrate 50 years of the Socceroos. Hopefully you will still be the CEO and the game continuing to prosper. Thanks for listening and giving fans the opportunity to speak. Best wishes.
Marc  |  
13 Nov 2012 09:38 AM
Top priority David, maintain vigilance around crowd behaviour. Football must be attractive to families. Great initiative by National Football League as well as Major League Soccer (MLS) in the USA that addresses issues related to disruptive fan behavior which violates a stadium's Code of Conduct policy via online classes. Worth considering for Australian football environment. Have a closer look. http://www.fanconductclass.com/
Nick Hatzoglou  |  
13 Nov 2012 09:19 AM
Hi David and welcome, My big concern is with the grassroots of football. The A league seems to be building nicely but breaking in to Elite football still remains very much about who you know and not how good you are. For example, in Football NsW if you are not part of their Elite programme as result of being committed to your Catholic or Independent school team then you have very little chance of being noticed or selected for state teams and program's. Their are hundreds of highly trained quality players playing in these leagues but sadly they will never have the opportunities of the elite few. It's no wonder many transfer their skills to other sports. I would like to see introduced Cup competitions and end of season gala's so that teams from clubs, elite program's and independent schools can come together and talent captured. This way we could be sure that all potential talent has been recognised and retained. Many thanks and good luck in your new role. Ben
Ben Nichols  |  
13 Nov 2012 07:54 AM
Welcome David, and I am glad that you have promised to listen, because there is much to hear. I think a large problem at the Victorian grassroots level is the way that the VCL (summer league) runs. I believe it is probably the worst kept secret in junior soccer for the last 20 years, and a large number who have experienced a VCL selection process has a story to tell. Everyone knows, but nothing changes. There must be a reason why Victoria does so poorly in the National Youth Championships (or equivalent over the years). Since 1990, out of the 3 junior age groups, boys and girls (132 competitions), I can only find two wins by a Victorian team. This is despite having the second most total (organised + non-organised) soccer participants and the 3rd most organised participants.(http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/436122/ERASS_Report_2010.PDF). If the FFA is worried about losing talented juniors in the older junior years, they need to look here. I will write a detailed letter to the feedback email address, I hope you will read it.
I wish my son wasn't good at football  |  
13 Nov 2012 07:50 AM
The soccer/football naming debate is symptomatic of an underlying superiority/inferiority complex that pervades the code in Australia. By shoving the term "football" in people's faces we are really saying to followers of other codes that our game is superior and that everyone must choose their preferred code in an 'all or nothing' approach. I think this attitude is holding the game back in Australia. I love AFL and love soccer, and in Australia I can proudly follow both codes. This approach to the naming and branding of the round ball game is a real turn-off and simply serves to ostracise supporters from other codes at a time when we should be trying to win people over. Hopefully David, you will be open to ideas from outside of "the family" because winning these outsiders over is one of the keys to the long-term success of the game in Australia. Good luck!
Matthew Allan  |  
13 Nov 2012 07:10 AM
Welcome aboar. I´m a huge fan of Hyundai A-League, here in Portugal, whenever I can, I see the A-League games on the Internet, and in my opinion your league has some things to improve. For example, I agree with one from opinions expressed here, that the stadiums would be smaller and welcoming for fans in general, other thing that could be changed, are television broadcasts,, ideal for growing your league would make a deal with a channel to transmit on channel for worldwide. Another thing that could be changed would be the number of teams in the A-League, for example pass from the current 11 teams to 14 or 16, other thing would create a sort of second division, where the top two would go up, and where the last two ranked the a-League would descend, allowing the teams that always arrive at your new Premier League. Because in my personal opinion, it makes no sense, teams that have been created in the seventies and eighties, are now in the state leagues, so even create said second division, which would make your football more fair and equal. And in my opinion, everything else in your league at all this better than Portugal Three last things; keep in your soccer league limits exist since the creation of your league in 2005/2006, never cease to invest in the training of young talents, of Thy Country and above all do not let your reach to the state arbitration that the Portuguese cehgou where scandals there every week! Best greetings: Tiago Patrício
Tiago Patrício  |  
13 Nov 2012 03:11 AM
Welcome David. First of all, at least 50% of games need to be on FTA TV each week to keep the public in touch with what's going on as 3/4 of the population dont have or want pay TV. FA cup type of comp with the lower leagues would create a lot of interest, also to be shown on FTA TV. The SBS World Game is the main way I keep up with what's going on in the A-League but I still feel I'm not getting enough detail & interviews with players & coaches. Fans want & need to connect with their team & the comp in general at least once a week, without FTA TV that cant happen. Help teams connect to their community, dont let another GC United situation happen again. 22,000 tickets were booked when offered for free on the GC. The fans were there but the support wasn't. The FFA has to deal with things like that & not just drop teams due to irrational owners. Dont betray the FAN S. Good Luck!! PS Support grass roots football.
John D  |  
12 Nov 2012 11:07 PM
Remember SuperLeague and those ridiculous player contracts we at News agreed to. Then umpteen years at the NRL when one of your "enemies" was real football - the only code played with the feet. Now that you are on the other side, I suspect you will be able to apply your skills to take the game forward and wish you luck. How about being a real innovator by abandoning penalty shoot outs in favour of extra time being decided first by goals, secondly by corners gained and thirdly by goal kicks taken by the opponents. I think Johnny Warren would have agreed. So many people around the world dislike shoot outs and this system adds a large degree of excitement to extra time.
Bruce Harris Engadine  |  
12 Nov 2012 10:35 PM
Glad your with us Dave, I was impressed how you handled everything that got thrown at you in league. I think a good way to get the grassroots loving the A-League is give the kids signed up to our local teams free tickets to there local team games with a paying adult for example more people at games = more atmosphere also the kids will love their team even more watching them every home game ! I understand that your hands my be tied with the FTA TV issue with the new deal but maybe each team could have there own internet channel that can stream their games live and have interviews and so forth for their fans and it could also provide another opportunity for teams to recieve income and connect with their supporter base. Also I believed the expansion into QLD with two new teams the same season was crazy, which it turned out to be, anyway I understand the game needs to expand but expansion needs to be done at the right pace and maybe don't saturate states with teams in the one area or teams will end up cannabilising each other like Sydney in the NRL. Thats bout it Good Luck Dave !!!
Adam  |  
12 Nov 2012 10:25 PM
Hi David, We need to support junior and local football from the top instead of expecting the junior and commnity footballers to support our elite players. Football in the bush is dying as NRL and AFL provide comps at school, lots of goodies, free registration for young players etc. The multiculture angle is very positive but the "passion" that is often displayed in negative behaviour by supporters is something that intimidates people attending matches or having their children play. Focus on Under 20's and down to get a larger base of players in this country.
Michelle  |  
12 Nov 2012 10:21 PM
Hi and welcome to Mr Gallop - you've introduced yourself humbly and willing to listen -thats great. My thoughts on football in Australia are that...we are doing great, but to get to the next level (international competitiveness) we definitely need more youngsters regularly playing overseas in top leagues - e.g. mid 2000's we had Kewell, Cahill, Viduka etc.etc. at top level. I believe we need to impart stronger skills in training whilst kids are young - we have such a huge involvement of kids in 'soccer' in our country, but something is missing - we are good at training our kids to pass, kick and tackle - boy do us Aussies know how to tackle(!)lol, but we need to teach the kids to become super with their dribbling skills/ learning to 'hold' the ball at their feet and be comfrtable on the ball - this will bring a whole new generation of players who are real strikers - this is how the South American, Italian, Spanish kids learn - and their teams always have the best foot skills in the world - when was the last time either Spain, Italy, Brazil or Argentina didn't win the World Cup?? I reckon we need to talk to Del Piero, Flores (Victory), Heskie (Jets), Viduka, Kewell - all the best - find out exactly (practically) how they trained as kids?..what methods they used etc, how they 'think' when attacking the goal/oppostion - very practical - them ask them to do a short video or something - and have a set of videos/simple training manuals/guidelines to help coach kids at grass roots level - its not a dictatorship - but to have contact with every club in Austalia and offer them these tools from the best would be awesome! Ofcourse the main aim when young is to have fun - but also to develop more than we have in the past....then the Kewells and Vidukas will be a lot more commonplace. Cheers, Dan
Dan N  |  
12 Nov 2012 10:11 PM
Good luck, David. It is a big job but one that promises wonderful results. We wish you the best in bringing this great game forward in Australia.
Ben of Phnom Penh  |  
12 Nov 2012 10:07 PM
Congratulations on your appointment ,Currently there are many good things happening in football .Introduction of FFA Skilleroo progam has been outstanding achievment in Victoria.This MUST continue as this is the only way we can be competitive in the world stage.More mony is needed from State Federations or FFA to support talented players.Example cost of National Youth Championships nearly $3000 plus parents cost, add another $3000 plus $500 VCL cost.This is nearly $7000 parents need to pay within 2- 4 weeks.However,it's all worth it because we have a pathway and the best coaching possible. In my opinion before we put all of our efforts on Asia or World Cups,we need to ensure our junior set up ,especially talented players is a priority.National curriculum need to be implemented in every State every Club.Good Luck and hopefully after you do all the listening and watching we can see your vision for the game.
Morris  |  
12 Nov 2012 09:45 PM
Welcome on board David. I would just have a couple of little ideas. Firstly I would really like to see a cup competition (FFA Cup) which would link the A-league clubs with the state leagues and beyond. The other thing I think we need is football on free to air television. The more accessible it is the bigger our beautiful game can become. Good luck and welcome!!!
Tom  |  
12 Nov 2012 09:41 PM
Just like to start with , David, as a supporter , The feel an spark you will bring to the game an too the supports will be bonecrusher , just like the japan cup win of yester year . The 1st aussie too win , the big one . enough of the past , lets watch him , Gallop in two legs or four , where on you all the way to make the world cup , thanks team australia.
hooligans  |  
12 Nov 2012 09:33 PM
Welcome. In Canberra we have a wonderful W-League team, Canberra United who know how to treat fans. Every game, after the game, wrapped in ice these wonderful athletes come to the fence and great every one of their fans. Come, visit, see for yourself.
Soccer mum  |  
12 Nov 2012 09:22 PM
David everyone knows your record at rugby league. All i will say is welcome and you will have a sweet ride at FFA because you wont have to fight fires and can get on with growing the game. Can i suggest you investigate a national club championship. I mean the clubs below the ALeague that are the bread and butter of soccer in every capital city. That will really get the grassroots in through the turnstiles good luck
vince h gepp  |  
12 Nov 2012 09:16 PM
My. Gallop, Congratulations on being awarded the tremendous honor of leading this sport into places and heights one could previously only have imagined. It is a position that I, and many like-minded football fanatics, would take with both hands. Regarding the comment above. Whilst the title of 'test matches' has a much more uniquely Australian feel, football is steeped in tradition, and although change is good in some instances, be careful not to tread on too many peoples toes. Change for the sake of change is not a advisable. However, change in regards to the broadcasting of the A-league and certain international Socceroo's games is an extremely positive move. Also, as already mentioned, the media tends to favour other sports in their reporting (I too, believe it is due to the fear of other sporting codes). Greater coverage of this beautiful game, Australia wide, will achieve a number of different objectives: -> Increase the average attendances of football games. -> Increase memberships/merch purchase. -> A huge spark in TV ratings (given that free-to-air starts showing live games). -> Gain the love of a whole new footballing generation at the grass roots. -> Attract greater interest from overseas players, coaches, and possible club owners. The current 'marquee player' strategy is bringing so much back to the game. With more marquee signings in the near future, football will only to continue to go from strength to strength. Welcome to the greatest sport in the world. We are football.
12 Nov 2012 09:10 PM
Hi David, Do you really know to what you commit yorself? I'm not sure how things done in NRL but in Soccer I can only say about soccer NSW but I think it is a pretty big part of it - too many "very bright" people on top as an exapmle of their recent brightest decisions please find an extract from Youth Leagues Trial Memorandum Football NSW has adjusted the trial dates to allow the Football NSW Elite programs (FNSW Institute) to conduct trials prior to the Football NSW 2013 Competitions. Approved trial dates have been established to ensure all players are provided the opportunity to trial in the Football NSW Elite environment. The staggered scheduling allows those players that are unsuccessful in trialling for an Elite 1 or Girls Premier League club to still have an opportunity to be selected at a club in divisions below. In order to maintain the integrity of the Futsal Premier and Super League Competitions no trials are to be scheduled on ANY SATURDAY during the above periods in order to afford all players the opportunity to meet their Futsal commitments. My first impression everething looks good, but if you check the dates they pick for the trials for so called ellite level this dates clash with the end of the year exams at the high school year 10 and I think year 12 I'm not sure about the rest but I think it is the same story. So please note of the last paragraph -they take very speciall care of futsal commitments oh eah futsal - who needs matematics and the rest, play futsal and you will be part of the elite. No wonder they stragle to qualify for anithing and David i think even if you try to change something there, I think it is highly unlikely, they will resist very hard. Sorry David but I think you did a mistake accepting this job. You got yourself nto mud.
Student  |  
12 Nov 2012 09:02 PM
I think the best way to promote soccer in Australia is starting by starting to change the fees structure and make it more affordable for everyone to enjoy the game and share the passion that they have with other. Stop making this become money minded as this is what is killing the sport. Just let people who really have a passion for the sport to help. Take advice from people who want to see this sport moving forward. Mr. Gallop hope you will make this sport become much more appreciated and bring it to a new level like you have taken the NRL.
Ashvin  |  
12 Nov 2012 08:55 PM
Welcome . You should measure actual numbers of kids playing ball.If you are able to double this amount in next five years, your job has been done. We need authority about monitoring managing style of the amateur club's civil responsibility over kids motivations to continue growing within the game.I have seen clubs that promise the juniors to work hard and will reach Senior Level. But Clubs still interested in shop around out of their junior ranks and get players even from overseas.VPL is a example. Many kids quit because that practice. Kids are not stupid as some Directors of Coaching think.For them only Seniors as happens at HUFC. With this common practice Juniors loose a sense of belonging at club level and football level as well.Please ensure and keep a permanent review over quality process in training facilities and common methods to enforce national-curriculum at all levels. Develop a open discussion about the game after professional football matches through radio or internet that makes football to grow and mature more and more. Remember ... The Kids Well being playing ball. Long Life to You and good FUTBOL.
Joe  |  
12 Nov 2012 08:53 PM
Welcome aboard David. I think the biggest stumbling block for our game is that they can't saturate the play with add's like in the other code's.den
den  |  
12 Nov 2012 08:36 PM
Mr. Gallop, I would sincerely hope that one of the first things you do in your newly appointed position is emphasis the extremely wounderful effort of the Qantas Young Socceroos who have now qualified for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Today I listen and read your spiel about how we need to continue to develop football in our county yet you did not give these up and coming possible senior "Socceroos" one ounce of your breath. In fact, neither did the FFA Chairman Mr Lowry. Some of these boys, if they pursue their football careeers will more than likely play in Brazil in 2014 if Australia is lucky enough to qualify. I have watched every news coverage, listened to lots of radio news and searched papers today all to no avail. I have found the lack of media support abhorrent throughout the lads qualification period. I am sure family and friends along with the many many football supporters would appreciate hearing about their fantastic result. Incidently, this being a result of which has not been achieved before at this level of football. I would sincerley hope that when the World Cup actually takes place next year we hear and see alot more than we have during qualification.
aussiejac  |  
12 Nov 2012 08:27 PM
welcome aboard David. There have been a lot of useful suggestions do far, so I thought I would throw my bit in. First, FTA TV. I LOVE the Foxtel coverage of the games - every game and the magazine shows. Sadly it is the way of the world, as overseas less and less is FTA. However there needs to be SOME FTA exposure. Even if it is a game of the week and a highlights package. SBS is as tired as yesterday's lunch. Without nationwide cover we will never reach the fans and general populace. Secondly we do little to promote our AUSTRALIAN players playing on the big stages: the Leckie, Oar, Kruse crowd. But we get plenty of publicity about a tantrum throwing tennis player on the circuit who has yet to prove himself, or interviews with old swimmers. Third we need to change our attitude ( and that includes us fans). We are minnows in the biggest game on earth, yet have been to 2 World Cups. We need to build on our positives and focus on our strengths. Any fool can tell us what is wrong with the game. Few promote what is right with it. And the crowds are up this year - why is this not being promoted ? Thirdly
jim  |  
12 Nov 2012 08:19 PM
Welcome to football and great message. You are building on firm foundations, but there is still a lot to do. Good luck!
Ian Clarke  |  
12 Nov 2012 08:14 PM
Congrats David and welcome. If I could say just one thing it would be that we really need to get the A League on free to air television, even if it was just a few games per week. At this stage the A League is only getting exposed to homes that have foxtel while the majority of Australians dont get to see the games. This I feel, is a must, and so long as the A League remains exclusive to foxtel, the A League will never catch up to the heavyweights of AFL and NRL. Work your magic David, let's do it :-D
Az  |  
12 Nov 2012 07:17 PM
Hi David, welcome. 2 major lapses in my opinion: 1- Cup games, A League can't afford not to have early season League Cup. Knock-out competition, A League teams only to start with (can look to expand competition later), 1 game, winner goes through. Final on Boxing day (or around New Year, cant get much better then that), Game gets another 'Grand final', fans get another trophy to yearn for and clubs get another competition to go for. (p.s. you must make it rewarding like a winner gets 1 million prize money, this will entice teams to have a full go, fans will feel teams desire to win and will want their team to win the trophy and early season bragging rights, media will call it 'a Million dollar game" and Broadcasters and advertisers will just love another game that offers 'grand final-esque' atmosphere and attention. (it must have a big enticement (prize money works best) to give competition instant credibility. 2. Number of match-day subs, if must be increased to 7 players (or at least 5) with maybe rule to have 3 under 21's. There is nothing worse to see your team winning or losing and no options on bench. Coaches can't really change tactics, throw on more forwards or defenders if they have limited options on bench. Fans can't do one of most important things to a fan and that is being coach and passionately believe coach should sub x player for x player, when they see bench and get demoralized because there is only defender and keeper on bench when you really need a goal. Under 21's on bench, fans love to see young guys being given chance, coaches love to put them on late in game they are comfortably winning or losing and players love to get a chance. None of that is currently possible because only a mad coach would risk taking youngsters to a game with such a limited options. 1 keeper, 1 defender, 1 midfielder, 1 striker = no tactical options, just injury cover. (I understand this is bit more difficult to achieve due to costs of travel and accommodation, but it will benefit clubs, fans and players greatly) There are few more things that can be changed of tweaked, but I really do hope you consider these 2 urgently. Not sure if this will reach anyone of influence or not, but as a football fan I believe at least I tried. Good luck and all the best David
DM  |  
12 Nov 2012 06:33 PM
As a Scotsman living in Dunedin and supporting the Warriors, I can only wish you all the best. You came across as a real gent, who had to deal with a good number of nutters, when in charge of the nrl. All the best for the future, unless you are playing Scotland, and I look forward to seeing you back on tv.
Bill Richardson  |  
12 Nov 2012 06:28 PM
David, congratulations on your appointment. I recommend you get to Townsville as soon as possible and do some damage limitation. The Fury were truly on the right track with regards to community engagement and on-pitch performances, before they were death-ridden ungraciously by the FFA, amid moving goal posts and a seemingly complete disregard for the fans in the area. The contradiction later, with the money poured into WSW is just more of a slap in the face to the people of NQ that genuinely care about football. I look forward to seeing what you can accomplish in your role, and was very impressed with your press conference today.
Chris  |  
12 Nov 2012 06:01 PM
Congratulations on the appointment! A great way to start is by asking fans what they think! I agree with many of the sentiments expressed around TV exposure and the ability to get reasonable access to games coverage so we can experience the ups and downs of all the games....not just the one's we pay to see locally. I'm happy to pay to take the family along to regular local games and we have become regulars here supporting our Melbourne team..I feel that the cost of entry is very reasonable and the access, facilities and general experience are of a very good standard. The whole Foxtel thing is another story!!! Some families cant justify the significant regular expense of coughing up to pay for content that we are asked to pay for when all we really want is to watch the A League. I think this is the key to developing the fan base further and encouraging more people to get into supporting this great A League competition. Go Victory!!!
Joe  |  
12 Nov 2012 05:53 PM
Firstly congratulations on your appointment and I wish you (and ultimately football) all the best for the future. With regards to my opinion I agree with 'BEN OF BNE' in that having no decent coverage of games on FTA TV is the biggest obstacle to the future development of the game in Australia. I like many others do not subscribe to Foxtel and cannot always get to the key games, but I would relish the chance to watch games on FTA TV and become more involved in the A League and International competitions. At this time of year football has a great opportunity to be the number 1 dominant sport in the country and yet I cant help feel that its missing a huge opportunity with the younger generation by tying itself solely with pay per view tv and ultimately adult control and influence. I hope that one day Football will be the number one sport in Australia, but in the meantime a lot more work needs to be done in getting it shown into peoples homes. My apology to Harvey world for the cut and paste, but I could not have worded it better. I have been in Football administration for a long time now, and the most frustrating part in trying to promote our game, is the monopoly that pay TV has been given is really grueling our game. David think about the people out in the country areas if it is not to late to get free to air?
Garry  |  
12 Nov 2012 05:50 PM
Four things you will need to be and do: 1) Be passionate about this game and stick up and fight for it. We want to see you standing up for fans rights and also standing up to other codes. You need to be in the media and putting the other side of the story out there. Your going to feel inclined to be reactive to the media reports. I suggest you get educated on active support and understand what its about. Its footballs trump card but you need to realize it is and not be fooled by the media hysteria. 2) You will need to get the A-league linked more closely at the grassroots level. The clubs hands are tied by FFA policy. You need to remove the shackles and give teams the air to make there own way. Speak to the clubs and look overseas for comparison. Clubs can't even market themselves properly because FFA policy stops them from doing so. 3) Football needs to be complete and have the same features as other leagues around the world. That means a FFA CUP it also means promotion and relegation. The later could be your biggest challenge in our market, but the FFA CUP is long overdue. Good luck with relegation, look to overseas and find a model that works and is viable. 4) What ever happens with the TV deal, please stop the FFA looking for quick fixes. The world cup bid was a mess where we caved into everyone, no wonder we only got one vote. Get the foundations right and build for the future. plan for the day where we don't quality for a world cup. The league needs to stand on its own two legs. We are a sellers league, we develop youth and sell them overseas for profit. Along the way our league quality will improve. Youth development is what we are about. Build on that. Look after the core fans and build on that also. Your have the grassroots numbers but that is not linking to A-league memberships. Its a gold mine waiting to be opened you need to focus on the grassroots for A-league attendance and awareness. Germany has done great things in this field.
Rosario  |  
12 Nov 2012 05:34 PM
Welcome aboard, you talk about expansion teams needing to offer something new, Melbourne Heart were added to the competition and practically added nothing new except the Melbourne Derby, there was no distinction between them and Melbourne Victory except playing in red. I think FFA should work with Melbourne Heart and South Melbourne FC and think about there options. Perhaps Melbourne Heart could change there name to South melbourne Heart and play out of Bob Jane stadium. perhaps they could rename themselves Southern melbourne and base there training and administration facilities in the southern part of melbourne and continue to play at AAMI stadium but with the long term goal of having there own stadium in the south, they could merge with South Melbourne FC who we know have A-league ambitions, maybe instead of targeting the south they could aim to represent the North. I wouldnt be bothered with the 2 Melbourne teams representing the same land if Melbourne was not such a big city and we would hope Melbourne will eventually have 3-4 teams. Before people say targeting a geographic area will alienate supporters, look no further then AFL clubs. Rather it will give the team an area to immediately draw support from and it will also give the team more meaning, after all football is about city/regional rivalries and battling it out for your town. and before people say there is no boundaries in Melbourne its simple, MAKE SOME, AFL clubs have done it, NBL teams have done it. A Nice long term goal would be to have 3 teams in Melbourne, 1 in the city center, 1 NE and 1 SE. The original plan of the Australiasian premier league was to have 2 teams in Melbourne based on Geographic boundaries.
Chris  |  
12 Nov 2012 05:26 PM
Firstly David, congratulations on your role & thank you very much for the ability to provide my thoughts. I'm sure most of my ideas would've been covered by others & most of those, you have even being made known to you in your short time since it was announced that you were taking over from Ben Buckley. The lists are long, you are embracing a world sport that has been a bit of a victim in this country, some of our own making, some by the media. I wish you all the good fortune in your job to make this great game great in this country. My main issue is the fact that our potential Socceroos have to pay thru the nose for the best coaching. It seems the better you are the more you have to pay. This needs to change if we are to keep the best footballers in our game.
Rob  |  
12 Nov 2012 05:11 PM
Welcome to football Mr Gallop, It is exciting to have you onboard and committed to leading football in Australia. I ask that you use the terms A-League and W-League in the same breath, and hold the Matildas in as high esteem as the Socceroos. Speaking with your media team in the past few weeks about media passes, which I'll only need for W-League, they spoke with great admiration for the w-league players who they had only just met at the launch. They seemed to be pleasantly surprised... an emotion shared by many folk who 'discover' women's football for the first time. I also adored the Canberra Arrows out at Bruce Stadium back in the day, and I'm so proud that girls in Canberra now have leagues to play in, local heroes to aspire to, women speaking about football on the radio, tv, the paper and twitter, leading their state federation, and representing football on the board of the FFA. I am proud that boys have great leagues to play in also, and that they can look up to their parents and grandparents of both genders playing in open and masters' leagues. I love that football is not a men's game, or a women's game, but that it is 'our' game. Just a tip too... the Women's World Cup will be held in 2015 in Canada. Women's World Cups provide networking opportunities with other football associations and FIFA in a way that the men's world cups restrict. And once you see the quality and passion that the women's game at the world level evokes (I've seen it first hand at '99 women's world cup, '00 Sydney Olympic Games and '12 London Olympic Games), a special motivation can creep in. Just ask Tom Sermanni. All the best and good luck. Sarah Groube Football commentator - former national teams' administrator and SOCOG Football Tournament Administrator
@groubes  |  
12 Nov 2012 05:08 PM
To David Gallop CEO of football federation Australia: FFA along with the football fans of Australia must find a brand new name for the Australian football national selection ;socceroos it"s old fashion and it doesn"t m To David Gallop CEO of football federation Australia : ffa along the football fans of Australia must,must find a brand and smart new nickname for our national team as socceroos it's old fashion and it doesn't make sense at all ;worst of all creates confusion especially among the aussie kids.We have an excellent way to promote our game with the logo WE ARE FOOTBALL. The new nickname should be announced in a press conference .
12 Nov 2012 04:38 PM
Welcome aboard David wish you all the best.I noticed you mentioned a couple of times you have been getting up and siting back down. As a lover of both codes Rugby league and Soccer don't worry i think it's great to show such passion. Now on your watch i hope with good management we win the WORLD CUP lets face it Australia as a nation has won just about every other thing there is to win.So lets go get the big one no quarter finals or semi finals lets win it. If you can manage that i reckon they'll put a statue of you and Frank down in Canberra right out the front of parliament house.
Tony Santoro  |  
12 Nov 2012 03:48 PM
Welcome and good luck mr Gallop. The one area, if adressed that will propel football to dzzing heights, is the acceptance from and fare reporting of the game. For decades now the establishment in this country has been anti football for (smell the fear) obvious reasons . If you can manage to win over a fare and proportionate, unbiased media reporting / promoting , the A League will explode in popularity. It is the one main issue holding the game back.
james of melbourne  |  
12 Nov 2012 03:38 PM
Hello David and welcome to the world game. Thank you for the invite to make suggestions with you. Two areas that are on the top of my list to consider are: free tickets for junior registered players to attend A-League games and promotion of up-and-coming Socceroos. Cahill, Kewell, Neill, Schwartzer, etc. have been wonderful house-hold names over the past years and I respect them as role models and players but they will not be around forever. The fringe or newer and younger players are not on the general public radar. How many fringe football fans have heard of Orr, Leckie, McGowan, or Jones? Please have a campain to promote the new Socceroos. Thank you and good luck.
Wil  |  
12 Nov 2012 03:29 PM
Welcome David. I was very pleased to see you reference the Matilda's in your comments. One suggestion I have is for the W-League matches to be played before the A-League games. I understand it may be challenging to make it work, however I remember when the National Basketball League was starting out, the women's games were on before the men's match ... for the first few years while the women's game got on it's own feet. Eventually the women's game developed it's own following and now it's not needed. Just a thought.
Jordana  |  
12 Nov 2012 03:17 PM
Welcome aboard to your new family, mr Gallop. I will look forward to the input and influence you will have on our ;Beautiful Game
Paul from Barnsley, NSW  |  
12 Nov 2012 03:14 PM
Boards at association and state level should be abolished. There should only be one board....The FFA Board
David  |  
12 Nov 2012 03:09 PM
If you could somehow negotiate for the W-League and Matildas games to be filmed and telecast, preferably on FTA but even on an obscure pay TV channel or website, the following of the women's game and ultimately registrations would greatly increase.
Michelle from Melbourne  |  
12 Nov 2012 02:56 PM
Please, please, please give Canberra a team. This city is crying out for a team. We were strung along for so long by Buckley, please make it happen Mr Gallop.
CBR  |  
12 Nov 2012 02:53 PM
I've got a fresh bullish view on the HAL. Some things I'd look at if I were CEO: - FTA TV is important, HAL needs to focus on reach strategy. - Season Ticket Holders/Club Members Packages to reflect AFL/NRL (Cradel/Grave, Can't get to game, heavy emphasis on no ticket club members ie signups to later convert to ticket holders) - Get the participation level of the sport more involved in the HAL (ARL used to have free tix for all kids U14 to ARL matches, it also used to have family fun days for young players to meet the ARL 1st Graders... NRL just got a big TV deal so I'd expect them to combat AFL's AusKick, these are the future supports and current players of Soccer/Football they are targeting. - This could be thrown in the To Hard Basket but it's important to Lobby to have current champions of the HAL to go straight into the Champions League, rather than the previous years Champions, the timetable is just off. - Socceroo Games need to be on FTA fullstop. Other: - Love to see a mid-season cup/silverware, perhaps for another place in the Champions league - Love to see a 2nd NZ team, just like NRL, I struggle to see how a country can get into a sport when it seems like they are just dipping thier toes in the market place. - No more Sydney Based teams!!! Good balance now with Western Syd, don't saturate. Overall, you're going to get a million of these emails, but just as I was sad that you left the NRL, I'm happy you joined the HAL. Best Wishes in the new role, Ben
BEN of North Syd  |  
12 Nov 2012 02:32 PM
We need a biannual ashes series against England
Paul  |  
12 Nov 2012 02:21 PM
Welcome,Mr G. 2 points: 1. FTA on TV is vital .I hope not too late this time..... 2. Please try to arrange transport and financial assistance to training and games for all the new arrivals (many are refugees ) for whom football IS the world game . So many different cultures are now bringing talent and enthusiasm into the mix.
Julanne Sweeney  |  
12 Nov 2012 02:12 PM
Dear David Gallop, Please give us a team. Signed, A Canberra resident.
PJ  |  
12 Nov 2012 02:07 PM
Firstly congratulations on your appointment and I wish you (and ultimately football) all the best for the future. With regards to my opinion I agree with 'BEN OF BNE' in that having no decent coverage of games on FTA TV is the biggest obsticle to the future development of the game in Australia. I like many others do not subscribe to Foxtel and cannot always get to the key games, but I would relish the chance to watch games on FTA TV and beome more involved in the A League and International competitions. At this time of year football has a great opportunity to be the number 1 dominent sport in the country and yet I cant help feel that its missing a huge opportunity with the younger generation by tying itself solely with pay per view tv and ultimatley adult control and influence. I hope that one day Football will be the number one sport in Australia, but in the meantime alot more work needs to be done in getting it shown into peoples homes.
Harveyworld  |  
12 Nov 2012 02:04 PM
Good luck from Wagga Wagga Mr Gallop and welcome to the family. Please don't let bush football be forgotten! The Riverina and Murray regions are just two far-flung areas that need to be better integrated into the state leagues. There is a long list of young talent out this way that would benefit from exposure to higher quality football and increased funding. Also, RL is in a moribund state in the bush; an example is the closure of Wagga Leagues Club and the disappearance of many smaller clubs across the region. FFA has an opportunity in Wagga and should get in before AFL entrenches itself any further.
Fletch  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:59 PM
Great to have you on board David. Hope you can fix up the broadcast of the games dictating starts at 7:45pm on a Saturday night. Bring back start times to earlier in the evening and maybe you will get more families at the game than the current attendance, who wants their young kids out until after 10pm each home game. Foxsports can broadcast 3 league games on a Saturday night but not dictate they all kick off after the previous broadcast is completed, so why cant our football code get the same conditions. If you can somehow market the game to see a change in the financial structure from the bottom up to the top down you will also see a remarkable improvement in grassroots participation rates and consumer satisfaction and will then be worth every bit of coin and praise available. P.S introduce video citing for diving cheats. Good luck.
Gilly  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:55 PM
Welcome to your new position. Great to have someone with your experience on board. Your appointment adds credibility to the game in Australia where for so long many followers of other football codes seemed in denial about the importance of soccer in the world ie they would be very aware of big events in say tennis, cycling but had almost no awareness of the Champions League (partly because of lack of press)
Frank Catlin  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:47 PM
Welcome on board. The start of this season has been great. It gives us an incentive to sustain this even when we don't have a Del Piero or Heskey as marquees. I agree that the key is to harness the huge participation base we already have and get them involved with the A-league and national team. What could help: • public transport included with every ticket (worked very smoothly in Sydney on the weekend) • schools/clubs give away more tickets for kids with a paying adult. You can tell which fixtures will have spare capacity for this • get more mainstream media and sporting identities onside - see Phil Rothfield's article on the Tele today. we've got a great product but it is way better when you have 20k or 40k cheering than 5k. A lot of people still don't know about us if they don't watch SBS or ABC • more engagement with 'old soccer' - we have extended a bit of an olive branch but we need to be more proactive about getting their membership base aligned with the A-league - they are complementary, not the competition. Eg can we get sister club arrangements to get these fans to the ground at a discount? There's heaps of ideas around - we just have to take advantage of being the most nimble sport to allow us to take advantage of opportunities as they arise rather than letting us become bogged in red tape Cheers!
Pepe  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:45 PM
I very much enjoyed Gallup's speach and am pleasantly surprised at his passion for football. He asked about ideas to improve the game. I think one thing that could really improve the game is to have salary cap concessions for teams that invest in building an academy. It is so vital to have a good academy at every club.
Graham White  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:40 PM
Welcome and best wishes, don't believe the 3 stooges at SBS for a start..football is full of some great people and some not so great people. Think global, act local and don't be afraid to ask people for advice who have no agenda or personal interest. We are with you
Richard  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:35 PM
I think one of the most important things you need to do is reduce the costs involved for amateurs in terms of rego fees.
Dave  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:22 PM
Welcome aboad David Congrats to Ben on a successful campaign that has brought tremendous attention and growth throughout our game. The challenge for the FFA I see is aligning all the states together to create a sense of unity and cohesion. Youth development for both a- league and socceroos is certainly an area that requires focus. I truly believe the big goal that you and your new team should aspire to achieve is to ensure socceroos world cup qualification and success at the 2015 Asian cup tournament. Success in those two areas will certainly reflect itself to participation levels and also the a-league. Best of luck and go the victory!!!
Alfred  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:18 PM
Good luck. The sleeping giant needs constant prodding Perhaps if we could get some stability at Sydney FC with consistant management,coaching and acceptable performances on the park we could go a long way Maybe then we would not have to rely on aging superstars to prod the game Good luck to Steve Corica. Bimbi to the rescue?
Colin  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:15 PM
David, for a while now the grassroots and supporters have ached for an Australian adaptation of the FA Cup. Its an interesting and successful concept that has been forever etched into the culture of football abroad for decades. Bring that magic to Australia where the underdogs of the state leagues can shine as bright as any A-League side.
Tom  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:13 PM
David welcome back to the fold. My jury was out on your style during your time with the NRL. It's probably one of the things i will keep a keen eye on - how you use and adopt your natural style to the beautiful game. People that love football really LOVE football. We live and breathe it all day everyday. I know I do. The game is a business - I understand that, but please don't for a second think that true fans won't be able to see through any ingenuity. We are smarter than that. Your request for feedback warmed my footballing heart today. Good luck from afar. Hope all your back of the net moments are worthy. Lil
lily - melb  |  
12 Nov 2012 01:01 PM
Particularly Sydney FC, Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix, A-league clubs should be aspiring to play in smaller, boutique-sized stadiums each week. Adelaide United, Western Sydney Wanderes, Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory all play in appropriately sized stadiums which look great on TV, even with the relatively smaller crowds (compared to NRL/AFL). Newastle Jets, Melbourne Heart and Perth Glory also have relatively appropriately-sized stadiums which with larger than average crowds can look great. These clubs don't desperately require smaller sized stadiums, however if a more appropritate option were readily available, these clubs should be encouraged to consider the possibility of moving. This has been a key reason for the success of America's MLS, making the competition look more professional by having all clubs play out of smaller stadiums, improving the image of the league and improving match day atmosphere (in turn creating a more marketable product for TV deals and sponsorship). Brisbane could play out of a co funded (with the QRU), redeveloped Ballymore Stadium, or a Bakrie (Roar's owners)/QLD Govt/FFA co-funded multi-use stadium. Sydney FC have the option of utilising many of the NRL stadiums in Sydney, one of the most appropriate being Jubilee Oval. Wellington Phoenix could approach developers in a proposal to construct a boutique-sized stadium which would include residential, retail and hospitality elements, making the project feasible and guaranteeing year-round use. Having our clubs play in 3/4 empty stadiums damages the image of the league and makes for poor viewing on TV. Clubs should be encouraged and aided in sourcing more affordable, more appropriately sized alternatives. Andrew
Andrew  |  
12 Nov 2012 12:57 PM
Welcome David Gallop to your new role, one with high expectations from stakeholders right across the spectrum of football. Pleasing that your opening blog emphasises strategy and strategic direction, and spending much time early on "listening". The culture of football is very different to other "codes" and sports in Australia. For example, you quite rightly highlight womens' participation. This is an area which the main football broadcasters (Fox and SBS) have underwhelmed, leaving the coverage to ABC's match of the round on a weekend in a much too short season. Sadly, at ABC they still keep referring to our game as soccer. Some things have to change. The revised national curriculum (soon to be finalised) needs its implementation to be ramped up in terms of resources, support, promotion and education right across grass roots levels. Your role is critical to ensure we make progress, as this lays the strategic foundation for technical development that will achieve and sustain success of national teams (at all ages), HAL, W-League and Youth League, State competitions etc. If we want to win one day a World Cup (and I believe we can) then the curriculum must be the blueprint we all embrace and implement with total commitment. All the best with your challenge and opportunity at the helm, and I look forward to playing a proactive role in support of the common vision of excellence for our world game.
Pablo Bateson  |  
12 Nov 2012 12:50 PM
Mr Gallop, welcome aboard... great to hear you followed the once mighty Canberra Arrows
the duke  |  
12 Nov 2012 12:38 PM
Welcome aboard. There are many things that can be done to improve Football's lot, from more promotion of the women's game to changing the name of "Friendlies" to "Test Matches" but without doubt the single biggest issue is getting the A-League and all Socceroos games on FTA TV (and associated commercial TV exposure). My heart sinks a little hearing that the deal has been done prior to your commencement - I was hoping it would be delayed so your experience could be utilised - however this can only improve on your watch. Good luck!
Ben of BNE  |  
12 Nov 2012 12:28 PM

David Gallop

David Gallop is one of Australia's most respected sports administrators after 15 years in senior excutive roles. David was appointed CEO of Football Federation Australia in November 2012. He serves as Deputy Chairman of the Australian Sports Commission and is a member of the ASC Commercialisation, Innovation and Technology Committee. Gallop was a winner of the Australian Sports Administrator of the Year Award (2006) and the NSW Sports Administrator of the Year (2002).