Posts tagged ‘ffa’

The Blame Game

Perth Glory find themselves once more in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The club having received its second show cause notice from the Football Federation of Australia.

This is no surprise to many. The first show cause notice being issued in December and we covered this in our piece FFA Backed Into A Corner. 

At that time Perth Glory CEO Jason Brewer and coach Kenny Lowe were locked in a room working out the best way to respond, a move that implied the coach was aware that the club’s administration had breached the $2.55million salary cap. At the time he managed to stay focussed on the job and results continued to go the club’s way. A dip in form until Josh Risdon’s winner against Western Sydney Wanderers maybe showed that the off field issues were beginning to take their toll.

Maybe the realisation has dawned on some of the players that if they have indeed been receiving money “under the table” has huge tax implications. Implications that could lead to a spell in prison if the Australian Tax Office feel that they have been deliberately defrauded.

Perth Glory have been asked to respond to allegations on the following issues: Payments outside of the Standard Player Contract, Payments to a player’s family member, Payments of player agents’ fees, Payment of a third party sponsorship, Pre-payment to a player, Payment of travel costs, Accommodation allowances, and Provision of motor vehicles.

Interesting there are at present no mentions of players being paid into overseas bank accounts, which a club insider has alleged has happened. With the Australian Tax Office giving people a moratorium recently to declare earnings overseas that are paid into a foreign bank account one would hope that the players made the relevant declarations. With new communication between a number of countries if this has indeed happened, then these earnings will soon be found.

Looking at the FFA’s questions who is to blame? The players for accepting the payments? The player agents for encouraging the club to make such payments? The CEO? The Owner of the club? Or maybe the FFA for continuing with the salary Cap?

Word is that the CEO Jason Brewer will be the man to fall on his sword and that is to be expected if the club is found guilty of the breaches. It has been reported that owner Tony Sage has distanced himself from this latest scandal. Yet his CEO Jason Brewer said on Not The Footy Show, when we were on air, that he had daily conversations with Tony Sage. That being the case surely he would have advised the owner as to the arrangements that had been negotiated between players and the club?

Of course the FFA’s investigations are not purely into this season. Which brings into question Mr Sage’s choice of CEO’s and the fact that when the club had a purge on staff following the infamous Hatt Report they removed the one man who understood the FFA salary Cap rules. Maybe that was where everything went wrong?

There are many who believe that the Salary Cap is in fact to blame. The reasons for its implementation made perfect sense. The idea being to have all clubs operating on the same level and not extending themselves beyond their means. The trouble is the club have to spend the money. The end result is very average players are being paid more money than their talent warrants. The knock-on affect of that is it pushes up the expectations of other less talented players.

Another example and in Perth Glory’s case advocated by the FFA is that of the Marquee player. The FFA broke its own competition rules to allow the Perth Glory to upgrade captain Michael Thwaite to a Marquee player status; section 7.23 “A Club cannot 1. (a) change the status of a Player on the Player Roster;”  Section 7.18 reads “A Club must apply to FFA for approval of a prospective Marquee Player, Homegrown Player, Guest Player, Replacement Player or Contracted NYL Player using the relevant Prescribed Form before it concludes any contractual negotiations with such prospective Marquee Player,”

Nothing against Michael Thwaite personally but a Marquee player is meant to be a player that helps bring in extra fans through the gate, or is a stand out player clearly a cut above the rest on the park. Very few defenders will pull in extra punters, a few would but the are few and far between, Paolo Maldini is one that immediately comes to mind who would have, John Terry and Gerard Pique are two more. The question is should Michael Thwaite have been approved as a Marquee player? Is he a big enough player even in Australia? He is undoubtedly consistent at this level, but he is not one of the first defenders on the team sheet when Ange Postecoglou is making out his team list for the Socceroos. By allowing Perth Glory to make him a Marquee player have the FFA not exacerbated the situation and pushed up expectations of players and agents and forced clubs to pay more to secure a player?

It may seem unfair to single out Michael Thwaite who has served the club well this season and been consistent week in week out. Another example would be Matt McKay at Brisbane Roar. McKay burst onto the scene with Brisbane Strikers in the NSl and was a key component with the Brisbane Roar when they won back-to-back titles. He then left for Glasgow Rangers at the worst time possible as the Scottish giant was going through its financial troubles and was relegated from the Scottish Premier League. He moved to South Korea and then to China where he struggled for form. His two year contract was terminated after six months by mutual consent. He then came back to Brisbane as a Marquee signing aged 30. Did his career warrant him being a Marquee signing? Does Matt Mckay bring extra fans through the turnstiles? Or was this just reward for a local boy who had served the city so well? There are more players who fall into this category.

So are the FFA partly to blame for approving these Marquee status players, for forcing clubs to use the majority of the salary Cap and pay players more than their career experience and performances may warrant?

Whatever the answer, if Perth Glory are found guilty and indications are that they will be, a new debate will unfold once the punishment is handed down as to who will take the blame on their shoulders. As the supporter of a club who broke the rules in the UK and were punished severely, players will leave, as will administrators, but as is always the case, the fans will remain. They will pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start supporting again, believing quite rightly that they deserve better.

 

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April 2, 2015 at 10:14 am 7 comments

Finding Her Identity

Last week’s result by the Socceroos securing a draw with World Champions Germany n Kaiserslautern was another feather in the cap of national team coach Ange Postecoglou. It was also a wonderful result on the back of the team’s Asian Cup victory.

Despite these successes there is something that Ange Postecoglou has managed to achieve that no other Socceroos coach has achieved, and for that the game should be eternally grateful.

Rale Rasic back in the Seventies awoke the nation with is team of part-timers making it to the World Cup in 1974 being one of just 16 teams that participated in the finals. It was almost a surreal experience according to those who remember it.

Guus Hiddink broke the jinx, and in truth had some luck in seeing the team qualify for Germany in 2006; in a penalty shoot-out the result can go anyway, unless you are playing Germany! Yet when the tournament started he showed his tactical acumen and managed to steer the team past the group stage, and almost past eventual Champions Italy.

Pim Verbeek achieved the remarkable steering the team to the 2010 finals conceding just a single goal against Japan in the final round of qualifying, with a team that was clearly on the wane. His mission was accomplished. He has suffered major criticism for the 4-0 defeat against Germany, yet the same team went on to beat England 4-1 and Argentina 4-0 before bowing out to Spain in the semi finals.

No one except the FFA and Holger Osieck will ever know what the total brief was at the time of his appointment. One key factor was another qualification for the World Cup which he achieved. He was criticised for not blooding enough young players, yet he achieved the task that he was set.

What all of these failed to do, that Postecoglou has managed to do in his short time as coach, was play a style of football that taps into the Australian psyche.

In the past week this writer has spoken to three people who confessed they never watched the Socceroos before ‘because they were boring.’ They still admitted they did not watch most of the game but they would tune in because the current team is ‘exciting to watch.’

There is no doubt that the Golden generation featuring the likes of Schwarzer, Viduka, Kewell, Bresciano, Grella, Neill and co, were technically more gifted than many of the current crop of players. There were also more of them playing football at a higher level than most of the current crop. Yet the team never managed to achieve what Postecoglou’s players have achieved.

Postecoglou is without doubt one of the best home grown coaches Australia has produced. Like many of the great coaches an injury curtailing his career – just as happened to Brian Clough – saw him enter management at a very young age. Success in the NSL was a regular achievement. When the A-league started he was coach of the national Youth team, which proved with hindsight to be a great learning experience. Back in club football in the new A-League with Brisbane Roar he again created a team that played attractive football and won championships. When he became national coach many wondered how he would fair and early results were not promising. Yet during those games a pattern was evolving.

A pattern that has seen Australia for the first time have a football team with an identity. By that we mean an identity in terms of the style of football that the national team plays.

Australian football under Frank Arok was again blessed with extremely talented players, many who were still forced to be semi-professional. The team was always combative, the team never ever gave up, but the style frequently changed depending on the opposition or the importance of the match.

It was the late Spurs and Northern Ireland captain Danny Blanchflower who once said “Our tactics have always been to equalize before the other team score.” It may sound crazy but one feels the sentiment is there in this Australian team.

Postecoglou has tapped into the Australian sporting Psyche, that Australians in every sport like to be the aggressor. Look at the Cricket team, the Wallabies, the Kookaburras, all are teams that are immediately on the front foot against their opposition. All of them like to take it up to the opposition and make them know that they are not in awe of them. Previous Socceroos coaches have focussed on trying to limit the scoring opportunities of the opposition and therefore tended to play very defensive football. It appears Postecoglou realises that currently Australia’s defensive stocks are not world class, and therefore the team is bound to concede against quality opposition. However rather than sit back and try and limit the damage, his teams go on the attack. The theory being that Australia will score more than their opponents. It is a style that has resonated with many Australians who have never followed the game, and he may well have finally given the nation a style that becomes synonymous with the Socceroos.

Japan knew they could never compete physically with the bigger European players, so they developed a fast paced game based on speed touch and fitness in order to be competitive and it has paid dividends to their national team and is now a style that is expected from their teams. They focussed on their strengths and improved their weaknesses.

Postecoglou has done exactly the same. He has tapped into Australia’s desire to be the team on the attack and a new style of football has evolved. A style that seems to have captured the public’s imagination. Hopefully is a style that can be maintained, and will just like Japan become synonymous with the Socceroos.

To quote the inspirational Danny Blanchflower again ” The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.” It would appear that Postecoglou shares those sentiments.

Blanchflower was a part of a Tottenham team that won the double and also steered Northern Ireland to the quarter finals of the 1958 World Cup in the same year he lost his brother Jackie in the Munich Air disaster. Spurs with him in the side played an attractive brand of football, a brand of football where they believed if the opposition scored one, they would score two.

It would appear the Socceroos under Postecoglou have the same sense of belief. It certainly appears that they have found a style that resonates with the people of Australia. Let us hope they continue to win fans over playing football in this manner and like Spurs and Northern Ireland with Blanchflower in their side are rewarded with success. Most of all let this be the style of football for which Australia is known.

March 30, 2015 at 10:35 am Leave a comment

FFA Right to Say “No” To Asia

Football fans in Australia will no doubt have breathed a sigh of relief this morning when reading on the World Game website that the FFA have rejected a move from the A-League club owners to expand into Asia. This is the right move by the game’s governing body despite the fact that they still have plenty of work to do to get their house in order in Australia.

The news that the move was supported by Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets, Adelaide United, Perth Glory, Western Sydney Wanderers, Central Coast Mariners and the City Football Group, which controls Melbourne City, was no great surprise. Seven out of the ten A-League franchises is more than anything proof that the Franchise model adopted by the FFA when they created the A-League is flawed.

In fact this should be the point where the FFA seriously considers finding a way to move away from such a model.

The news that seven club owners are advocating such a move is proof that this is purely about business and nothing to do with football or player development.

Central Coast Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth is quoted as saying “Expansion north can tap into tens of millions of football fans, significant commercial opportunity and subsequently a raft of top EPL marquee players who have already expressed an interest in helping grow football across the region.If we truly want football to become the biggest sport in Australia we need to be more ambitious and this platform would not only help us achieve that but put domestic Aussie football on the global stage.”

It is hard to agree with his sentiments. Very few A-League clubs are likely to garner support from regions in Asia. They are many many miles from having the regional pull, let alone global pull of clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool. Most A-League clubs have struggled to create supporter bases in cities outside of their home one within Australia, so why should we believe that they can achieve this in Asia where fans focus is first the Premier League and then their local clubs? This is another key factor, most football fans – Manchester United probably being the exception – support their local team, and follow them above and beyond all others. Football has and always will be about local identity. If you fail to tap into your local market you will never succeed.

Ironically Mr Charlesworth owns a club where they have tapped into the local market and created a local identity better than most in the A-League, however he and his staff are still unable to make this work. Whose fault is that? Have they set unrealistic goals and budgets? If there was more local involvement, or dare we say local ownership would this help swell the gate on a match day? Would this make people more determined to see the club succeed and climb out of their armchairs and go to the ground?

What also seems contradictory in Mr Charlesworth’s comments is the fact that the clubs want to tap into the “significant commercial opportunity” in Asia, yet want to bring washed up EPL stars out to play in the A-League. Case in point even though he was not an EPL player, Alessandro del Piero was finished as a top class player when he came to Australia. He could not run, could still pass exquisitely and strike a deadfall with precision, and dare we say fall over an outstretched leg convincingly. Officially he cost Sydney FC $1million a season; a club source has said it was closer to $3million. He was good for PR and media, but was he good for the A-League? He went to India -not renowned for its football – to play in the new Indian Super League and in four games they realised he was finished and he did not play another game. Yet in Australia we still have people lauding him playing here and his performances. If we are to move the game forward there has to be more honesty. Fans do not like being conned.

Ex EPL players in decline are not what the A-League needs. If these owners want to tap into the Asian market why are we not seeing more Asian talent coming to play in the A-League? The reason is simple. The club owners, and to be honest most Australian football fans know very little about Asian football and the leagues, even though we are a part of the Asian Football Confederation.

Mr Charlesworth is right to talk about ambition, but he is naive if he thinks a few ex EPL players at the end of their careers are going to help raise the profile of the A-League overseas. With so much football on television around the world, fans know whether a player still has it, or if his career is on the wane. They cannot be fooled. Hence the massive crowd drop offs when the likes of Robbie Fowler, Harry Kewell and del Piero played their first and second games. As the NSL proved these players are a very short term solution, and one would have to say ultimately cost the game money that could be invested more wisely.

A prime example of a less known player showing what he can do in the A-League and also showing where the A-League stands in terms of standard is Perth Glory’s Andy Keogh. He has been outstanding in his first season. Yes, he played in the Premier League but was a fringe player, yet he still has International pedigree, and in truth he would have been fairly unknown before coming to Australia. Yet he has come while he still has a good few years playing at the highest level in him, and he has been outstanding. The test for him will be to maintain the standard he has set in season two in Australia. Often that drop in standard starts to show in a player’s second season. Thomas Broich and Besart Berisha are two other examples of players who have played in top leagues, although struggled for regular first team football, but who have been stars in this league.

Asia is definitely not the way to go at this point in time in the A-League’s development. We need to have the clubs on more solid ground financially before such a move. Also rivalries are beginning to evolve in the A-League; and we are not talking about the contrived ones such as the lame “desert derby.” Rivalries take time and often arise out of what appears an insignificant incident, ten years in the A-League is beginning to see this becoming a reality. To go to Asia would dilute these.

If this went ahead when the Asian sides came to play in Australia one has to question whether these same owners, who moan about home crowd attendances, will not in fact witness more games with low gates; ultimately costing them more money. The average fan in Australia knows little about these teams and so the game will have little meaning or relevance. Meaning without extensive marketing – another cost clubs do not want to pay – that these would be the games that a family and on a budget will opt to miss. Crowds at many of the Asian Champions League games are proof that fans are not that engaged with Asian teams, purely due to a lack of knowledge on the Asian leagues and teams.

Let us get our house in order here in Australia before looking to head overseas. Let us see the clubs on strong foundations, marketing of the clubs and the league lifted to another level before trying to match it with our Asian counterparts. Let us show our keenness to integrate with Asia by importing more Asian players, showing more Asian football on television and having more Asian coverage in our papers and online. We need to show Asia more respect, rather than simply see them as a way to make money.

Ultimately though we need to see clubs move away from the current ownership model. There has to be more community involvement, without this, as has been seen around the country, some fans and sponsors will not walk through the turnstiles as long as they feel people with no genuine passion or understanding of the game own ‘their club.’

March 28, 2015 at 3:09 pm 1 comment

Moving the Goalposts, to a New Venue

“Greatness Awaits” is the tag lines for PS4 the sponsors of the National Premier Leagues in Australia, but one has to ask how long fans of the game will have to wait.

In Western Australia the whole process switching from a State League format which had laboured along to the new promised bells and whistles NPL was heavily flawed. The participation agreement drawn up by Football West and which Not The Footy Show believes no club has still signed, as legal advice warned them not to, would have seen them lose more than they gained.

The competition was rushed through, with Football West under immense pressure from the FFA who wanted to keep good on a promise to the Asian Football Confederation that they had a second tier competition to the A-League up and running by 2014. As a result the outcome was a long way from being as successful as it should have been and the standard of football on display last season instead of improving was overall well below anything the State league produced in the last 20 years.

Football West went through an extensive process to determine the clubs that should be in the new NPL. A process that came under heavy criticism from clubs as to whether it was in fact impartial, and whether all clubs were given what Australians like to call ‘a fair go.’

One team to benefit from this process was Subiaco United, a club that this writer is a life member of. Their home ground at Rosalie Park did not meet the NPL criteria so they played their home games at the WA Athletics Stadium. Many queried this move and whether it was in fact sustainable. It would appear that after one season it has proved it was not.

In fact the club’s selection to the NPL was highlighted in the Football West press release which stated “Subiaco will move from the All Flags State Second Division into the top flight having shown it has the structure, personnel and resources to make a successful transition. The club has committed to make use of one of WA’s newest sporting facilities by playing home games at the WA Athletics Stadium in Mt Claremont.”

Subiaco United will return to Rosalie Park to play its NPL fixtures in 2015. It will be interesting to see how the club satisfies the ground criteria this season in order to remain a part of the NPL.

One requirement is “A temporary or permanent fence fully enclosing the field of play, with a recommended height between 800mm and 1000mm. Any temporary fencing must be approved by Football West. Where it is not possible to erect a perimeter fence, Football West may negotiate alternative arrangements.” There is then the issue of signage, where “24m linear metres is to be reserved for Sony PS4 signage comprising 8m on the centre of the far side of the field (4m each side of the half-way line) and 8m behind each goal.” Unless things have changed Subiaco Council were very rigid in what and how signage could be displayed. Also we have the small matter of seating, “A permanent structure specifically designed for seating spectators situated outside the clubrooms that provides unobstructed viewing to the field of play and that provides seating for a minimum of 120 people. The structure must be approved by Football West.”

All of these are going to be very difficult to achieve as Rosalie Park is a public open space. There is nothing to stop any member of the public walking across the pitch with their dog at any time. Having played cricket, rugby and football at Rosalie Park this has been witnessed first hand by this writer. Having served on the committee and as part of the Rosalie Park Sporting Association, this writer also knows first hand how hard it was to try and achieve these things with the local council.

Cynics will say that Subiaco were only accepted into the NPL due to the massive junior set up that they have. With fees for juniors at NPL clubs being from $700 upwards compared to around $300 a season at a state league club, this argument carries a little weight.

Football West claim that due process was followed, and in fact highlight this by saying “Extensive analysis of compliance and commitment was conducted by Football West staff and clubs conducted presentations to further support their initial written submissions. All applications, videos of presentations and supporting documentation was provided to the Department of Sport and Recreation and Football Federation Australia for comment. Applications were also analysed by an independent football consultant from New South Wales.”

Whatever the reason, the question has to be asked when clubs had to submit a comprehensive business plan how one club’s plan has fallen over in just one season. Did this club underestimate the costs of semi-professional football as many long standing clubs warned? Or have they fallen victim, as a new club playing at this level, to a lack of marketing and promotion of the NPL? Another factor that many warned would end up hurting all of the clubs.

It is understood that after season one of the NPL a few other clubs found the costs to have been more than anticipated. It will be interesting to see how their fare in season 2. Also how they find the funds to submit for a Junior NPL side as Football West moves to introduce such a format in 2016. Surely with the aforementioned fees this is not another ploy to grab money from Juniors to prop up the senior game? Many clubs will feel they have to submit to be a part of this, but the key question is where are the finances going to come to underpin the investment required?

Subiaco’s move, although not a surprise, should not have happened after one season, and one would think other clubs would be within their rights to object to the venue at which their home games will be played. It sadly brings into question once again the process of selection to the NPL and also highlights the strain being put on clubs. Season 2 of the NPL will we expect be a defining one. Will the league expand as planned or will clubs opt out in order to survive and protect their club’s history and heritage.

Then again if the AFC throw Australia out of the Confederation everything could change once again; although many say this is unlikely to happen there is a strong possibility, as many member nations would be in favour of Australia returning to Oceania.

February 27, 2015 at 9:21 am 2 comments

The Not So Magnificent Seven

It was a very sad day when the FFA and the Australian Sports Commission opted to withdraw funding for the Australian Paralympic football program, but maybe after all they knew something the rest of us didn’t.

This week the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board gave seven-a-side football the boot for the 2022 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, but five-a-side football will be staying as part of the games.

Seven-a-side football has featured at every Paralympic Games since the Los Angeles Games in1984 and will still be played in Rio. Sailing is another sport that has been dropped from the Paralympic program. Replacing these two sports will be  The two canoe and triathlon, while Taekwondo and Badminton will debut in Tokyo.

The reason for seven-a-side football losing its Paralympic status is apparently because it failed to fulfil the IPC’s minimum criteria of worldwide participation. The IPC state that “only team sports widely and regularly practised in a minimum of 24 countries and three IPC regions will be considered for inclusion in the Paralympic Games and for individual sports a minimum of 32 countries in three IPC regions.” So maybe the FFA in fact contributed to its demise.

Maybe FIFA as many suspect only paid this part of the game lip-service and its “Inclusion” policy is far from inclusive.

IPC president Sir Philip Craven said after the meeting in Abu Dhabi that “To reach this decision, the IPC undertook the most extensive and rigorous review process ever of all the sports which started in November 2013. All were assessed against the same criteria and our aim all along has been to ensure that the final Tokyo 2020 Paralympic sports programme is fresh and features the best Para-sports possible. The Board’s final decision was not an easy one and, after much debate, we decided not to include two sports – football 7-a-side and sailing – from the Tokyo 2020 programme for the same reason. Both did not fulfil the IPC Handbook’s minimum criteria for worldwide reach.”

For all those athletes who worked so hard to give the game recognition in Australia, and were dedicating themselves to ensuring Australia gained a Paralympic berth this must be the bitterest pill to swallow and brings to an end a dreadful six month  period in their sporting careers.

Hopefully they will unite globally and ask why the game did not spread, why FIFA did not in fact promote this facet of football more around the world to ensure that it was kept in the Paralympic Games, after all the sport needed the Paralympic Games far more that Football needs the Olympic Games; but as we all know when it comes to the Olympics the IOC need football as it generates in excess of 33% of their revenue.

Sad days indeed. Hopefully though those who love the game will get behind these athletes and work hard for the sport to grow and be reintroduced to the Paralyimpic Games post Tokyo.

February 7, 2015 at 2:24 pm Leave a comment

Rules Are to Be Broken – In Football Anyway.

Hopefully no one in football in Western Australia will complain about the way FIFA runs football, as if they are not prepared to influence the game being run constitutionally in their own backyard, then it becomes clear why the game is riddled with bad management from the global head to grassroots.

It was incredible to read that Football West had appointed Rob Mackay back to the Board and that he had “renewed his Football West involvement with his appointment to the Board at the first meeting of 2015.”

Rob Mackay has been a great servant to the game in Western Australia, and is a man respected by many within the game, but his accepting this appointment is a very sad day for football. Mr Mackay was a man who it always appeared did things right and always by the rules, but his appointment is a breach of the rules he should know, having served on the Board of Football West for two terms and a total of eight years.

The Football West Constitution states quite clearly:Perth Glory

10.11 Maximum term of office

  1. (a)  Subject to article 10.12, an Elected Director may not serve more than two consecutive terms as a Director.
  2. (b)  If an Elected Director has served two consecutive terms, they may not be elected as a Director again until the second annual general meeting after the end of their second term of office.

The exception that could apply to Mr MacKay would be if he were appointed Chairman of the Board.

10.12 Exception to article 10.11 Despite article 10.11:

  1. (a)  if an Elected Director has served two consecutive terms as a Director but has not served as Chairman, or has served only one of those terms as Chairman, that person is eligible for election as Chairman for one further consecutive four year term. After the end that further term, they may not be elected again as a Director until the second subsequent annual general meeting;

This does not appear to be the case.

This is sad as it comes following other appointments that appear to be in breach of the constitution. Perth Glory Deputy Chairman Lui Giuliani was appointed to the Board of Football West. Another appointment that goes against the constitution. Mr Giuliani should have been disqualified from standing for the Board as he holds a disqualifying position (Section 10.4) as he holds an “official position” with a club. As Perth Glory have a team in the National Premier Leagues a competition under the control of Football West, as a Board member of that club he cannot sit on the board, just as any other board member of any club in Football West competitions is excluded. This was an issue we raised in December 2014 (Words with No Meaning) only to be told that Mr Giuliani was no longer on the Board of Perth Glory. Having subsequently checked with the club we have been advised as per their website, he is still deputy Chairman! Hopefully new appointee Jason Petkovic has now resigned from his role on the Committee at Cockburn City as otherwise like Mr Giuliani he too is in breach of the constitution.

The questions those involved in the game at any level should be asking is how can this happen? On the Board we have Anna Liscia who is a lawyer and an elected member of the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia, surely she is well aware of the constitution? There are two qualified men from the heavily regulated Finance industry in Chairman Liam Twigger and Sherif Andrawes, the latter is Chairman of respected accounting firm BDO(WA), both of these men should understand why a constitution is there and why it must be adhered to. Also new board appointee is respected journalist Gary Adshead, who as the Political Editor and investigative journalist at the West Australian has spent time exposing politicians and citizens who rort the system.

So why do these respected individuals fail to adhere to the constitution? What is it about administrators in Football who once appointed appear to ignore the rules that have been put in place to protect the game as a whole?

It comes back to a regular question who is policing the running of the game? Should it be FIFA or closer to home the FFA? Should it be the Department of Sport and Recreation? One would feel it should be both of these. Certainly the Department of Sport and Recreation should be ensuring that sporting bodies are run properly and in accordance with constitutions bound by the Corporations Act prior to handing over funding. However as we all know that does not happen.

Why is it Football appears to continually follow such a path at all levels? It truly is baffling. However if the masses do nothing then nothing will ever change!

February 3, 2015 at 5:37 pm 2 comments

Humility a Good Place to Start

It came as no surprise to hear that on the eve of Australia’s second consecutive Asian Cup final appearance some federations within Asia would like to see Australia returned to Oceania.

This site has covered many of the issues that have been building up and gaining more momentum since 2010. If Australia manages to lift the trophy tonight then many will feel that this will strengthen their position to remain a part of Asia. However it may just have the opposite effect, as with victory will come a lucrative trip to the Confederations Cup a year out from the World Cup in Russia.

If that were to happen Australia would not be the first to suffer such a fate. As the host nation Israel won the Asian Cup in 1964 and were then exiled in 1974 before finally joining UEFA in 1991.

Australia’s best hope will be a change at the top of FIFA, and it may well be that Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein may be their best hope to topple Sepp Blatter as President. The trouble is with so many candidates putting their hands up, and Africa pledging allegiance to Blatter once more, all that may happen is the various candidates dilute the votes from the other confederations and see Blatter sail home yet again.

According to Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein “reform is crucial.”  He has also stated “We have to bring the administration of sport into the current time we live in. I want to bring back that confidence.”

He has also stated that “in the coming months I will be looking to sit down and talk to all our member associations and listen to them. I am not coming in to dictate. I have my ideas but I have to hear back from my colleagues.”

There are many who feel that the World Cup finals may well be opened up to all and rather than having qualification places allocated to various confederations a draw will be carried out which will see the possibility of European teams having to play, African, South American or Asian opposition in order to qualify. Qualification will then be based purely on merit and the Finals will witness the truly top 32 teams in the world.

There is a problem with this plan, what to do with Oceania. This is without doubt the weakest confederation within FIFA. There are some who feel that the confederation should be split, with Australia and New Zealand and the more northerly island nations been incorporated into Asia and play a tournament to go into the main draw. The other nations be absorbed into Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football and play under the same conditions.

For Australia to be returned to Oceania would be ruinous for the game, that has made such strong advances in the last ten years within the nation’s psyche. It would also have a knock on effect on the game in New Zealand as currently they are almost always guaranteed a great chance to qualify for a World Cup, but via one play off match. When they qualified for the 2010 finals New Zealand knocked out a team from Asia, Bahrain, and it was perceived that Australia had helped New Zealand knock out one of its Asian counterparts by having the Wellington Phoenix play in the A-League.

There have been many other issues that have irked members of the Asian Confederation and it would be wise for Australia to show a little humility should they win tonight. The same applies to their post analysis of their hosting of the tournament as a whole.

One thing is clear the FFA are going to clean up their act in terms of how Asia perceives them and the way they operate. They will have their work cut out for them in the months up until the FIFA elections in May, and they will have to think very carefully who they align themselves to, as their future will clearly depend on it.

January 31, 2015 at 3:10 pm 1 comment

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