Dear football colleagues and friends,
As you may know, at FFA’s AGM on the 30 November 2017, a number of resolutions were put to the FFA Congress, in relation to FFA constitutional amendments designed to improve governance of football in Australia.
The most significant issue put for resolution was in regards to the broadening and enlarging of the Congress itself from the current “9:1” model, comprising the 9 Member Federations, and one A-League representative, to give effect to a “9:4:1:1:1” Congress model . A larger Congress has been a key objective having regard to the size of FFA’s current Congress in comparison with other member associations of FIFA and would respond to the FIFA Member Association Committee seeking development of an alternate model delivering appropriate representation of all stakeholders and taking into account the importance of gender equality.
The resolution provided for a reduction in the proportionate weight of the nine Member Federations’ own respective votes as a consequence, through both the introduction of new categories of members and the increase in the A-League club representation. It was proposed that the A-League clubs would have received 4 votes across their 9 Australian domiciled A-League members; one vote for the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), and 2 votes for women’s football, comprising 1 vote for a Women’s Community Football Member; and 1 vote for a Women’s Professional Football member. This would have expanded the FFA Congress from 10 Members to 21 Members.
The “9:4:1:1:1” resolution also included the removal of the Prescribed Majority (currently 60%) threshold for the election of directors at a general meeting such that only a simple majority would have been required.
With only 70% Congress support (being 7 of the 9MFs) for the resolution there was insufficient backing as required under the Corporations Act (75%) for the resolution of the 9. 18.104.22.168 Congress model; and therefore it was not carried, with the status quo remaining for the time being.
On the AGM’s outcome, the Member Federations have determined their desire to reset dialogue with all stakeholders, to endeavour to contribute to a solution, to which the FQ along with its 8 colleague federations across Australia are already discussing our approach.
In the meantime, I advise that the FFA has formally advised FIFA (and AFC) of the outcome of yesterday’s AGM, and FFA and the Congress Members will now await their advice as to their next step/s. For information, the Member Association Committee met in Zurich on Monday 4 December, at which this matter was discussed.
There was some speculation that FIFA will immediately intervene and impose what is called a Normalisation Committee. Based on our previous meetings with FIFA (and the AFC), we understand that there are a number of options open to FIFA when dealing with issues pertaining to a particular Member Association’s governance and constitutional alignment with FIFA Statutes, so although it is a possibility, a rush to normalisation is by no means the next step.
FIFA advised FFA on 6 December 2017 that it intends to establish a Congress review working group involving all relevant local stakeholders, FIFA and AFC.
Notwithstanding this, the stakeholders will continue to work together during this exciting time for football in Australia. With over 1 million players, including 520,000+ registered players through FFA’s MyFootballClub, football continues to be the number one participation sport, the women’s game is thriving, the Socceroos are bound for a fourth successive World Cup and the Hyundai A League continues to provide fans with great entertainment and sporting spectacle.
While efforts to effect change regarding the Congress composition was unsuccessful in this instance, the AGM was successful in achieving other governance changes which will enhance the game. The FQ and its colleague Member Federations look forward to continue working with FFA and all stakeholders for the benefit of the game. As the not for profit organisations responsible for administration of the community game, we are committed to use every opportunity to strengthen the development, progress and well-being of football at every level.
I will provide further updates as this matter progresses.
Yours in football,
Greg Redington, FQ President