FFA Media Statement: Congress Review Working Group Submission Release

With permission from FIFA, the members of the FIFA and AFC mandated Australian Congress Review Working Group (CRWG), today made public the report and recommendations for the future governance of football in Australia.

The publication of the report was made in the interest of transparency and good governance and in order for the whole of the Australian Football Family to understand the deliberations and recommendations made on its behalf by the multi-stakeholder working group.

The report was submitted to FIFA and the AFC by the required deadline of July 31, 2018 and will now be presented to the FIFA Member Associations Committee at its next meeting on 20 August 2018.

Click here to read the report of the Congress Review Working Group Australia for FIFA and the AFC.

Click here to read the FFA Board's submission to Congress Review Working Group.

FFA Chairman Steven Lowy AM said at the time of submission that FFA is committed to working to ensure the governance of the game continues to evolve in the best interests of the whole of football.

“FFA has been supportive of the CRWG process from the beginning and is committed to working constructively with all stakeholders. There are many elements of the report which are positive steps and wholly supported by the FFA Board. However, there are also some crucial aspects of the report which the FFA Board does not believe are in the best interests of the game and are inconsistent with its guiding principles submitted at the beginning of the process. ” said Lowy.

Specifically, the independent FFA Board expressed strong concerns over the following key aspects of the report which it believes would create an unacceptably high risk of the game’s resources being diverted away from critical areas of the game such as the national team programs and grassroots development, towards privately owned commercial interests:

  • the proposed model excessively weights votes towards “professional” football at the expense of “grassroots” football and effectively would allow the professional game when acting as a block to dictate the election of directors to the FFA Board.
  • the proposed model grants A-League clubs, acting as a block, the ability to veto amendments to the FFA Constitution
  • the proposed model delivers PFA a disproportionately greater voting representation than each Member Federation
  • the Women’s Council appears to extend the voting reach of other stakeholders at the expense of a truly independent voice for the women’s game
  • the proposed model does not sufficiently broaden the membership of FFA at the outset - to this end, the FFA Board was supportive of the immediate admission of special interest groups including AAFC in light of the importance of NPL Clubs in the Australian football ecosystem
  • the proposed pathway to an alternate A-League model is inconsistent with the foundational good governance principle that independent directors should manage the affairs of FFA in accordance with their fiduciary duties in the interests of FFA. The proposed pathway instead blurs the role between Board and Congress decision-making. The FFA Board instead proposed a process which preserves the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder while consulting with all stakeholders throughout the process before a final vote of the Congress on the proposed A-League model.

In the interests of transparency, the FFA Board has published, alongside the CRWG submission, a letter submitted to the Chair of the CRWG on 30 July 2018 outlining its concerns in detail and re-stating its guiding governance principles.