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Aldi joins group of sponsors quitting FFA portfolio

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has lost another of its sponsors with supermarket chain Aldi opting not to renew its contract upon its expiry at the end of 2019.

The association between the two organisations dates back to 2017 when a three-year deal was signed. It incorporated the naming rights to the FFA’s grassroots youth engagement programme, MiniRoos.

An Aldi spokesperson, speaking to Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald, said: “Aldi has invested more than A$15m (€9.3m/$10.4m) over three years to grow youth football in Australia.”

The newspaper reports there was an option for renewal in the contract but this was not taken up by the brand. The FFA is also thought to have been eyeing potential replacements for some time.

The departure of Aldi represents a further loss to its sponsorship portfolio after petrol company Caltex chose not to renew its title sponsorship of the men’s team fare this year. The long-term association with National Australia Bank also concluded earlier in 2019.

These corporate concerns are set against a backdrop of reform and uncertainty at the FFA. James Johnson begins his role as chief executive this month, replacing David Gallop
who left the position at the end of this year, while still in contract.

Gallop was aligned with the former chairman Steven Lowy, who was voted out of his role in November 2018, after a protracted struggle with A-League clubs over who should control the professional league.

In July 2019, it was ruled that both the A-League and the women’s W-League would follow the English Premier League model in their independence from their national governing body

Supporters of Gallop and Lowy suggested the corporate appeal of Australian football would be reduced by the regime change, which had been encouraged by the A-League clubs.

The FFA retains sponsorship deals with major global brands such as automotive manufacturer Hyundai, fast food giants McDonalds and luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer.

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