FFA CEO to make early exit

Football Federation Australia has today (Thursday) announced that chief executive David Gallop will make an early departure amid ongoing reform efforts at the organisation.

Gallop will leave his job on December 31 having been contracted to the FFA through to late 2020. The FFA said Gallop’s notice of his intention to stand down will grant time to find a suitable candidate for what will be a reshaped role in 2020.

FFA chairman Chris Nikou said: “David has provided strong and distinguished leadership over a long period and particularly through a difficult last few years for FFA as we have managed the governance and structural changes around the game.

“The timing of David’s decision is predicated on the recent progress of the New Leagues Working Group with regards to determining the future governance model for the Australia’s professional football leagues and FFA.”

Earlier this month, FFA reached an agreement in principle on a venture that will see the men’s A-League and women’s W-League become independent organisations, ushering in a “new era” for the sport in the country.

The New Leagues Working Group formed in October agreed on recommendations to bring about the “evolution and re-invigoration” of FFA’s two elite leagues, as well as youth competition the Y-League.

Gallop first joined FFA in 2012 and formerly served as chief executive of Australia’s National Rugby League. The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, citing sources close to the FFA board, reported that there has been a long-held wish for a change in leadership and redefining the role of the chief executive.

Gallop said in a statement: “With the NLWG recommendations to bring about fundamental changes to Australia’s professional competitions – the Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and Foxtel Y-League and FFA, the chief executive’s role as it currently exists will be a very different, narrower role. It makes sense for everyone to have time to openly determine what that new role and new leadership looks like.

“It has been very satisfying to be part of so many important moments including the introduction of the FFA Cup, winning the AFC Asian Cup, participating in the FIFA Women’s World Cup & FIFA World Cups, securing a record six-year media rights deal with Fox Sports, strengthening the financial aspects of women’s football, adding expansion teams to the Hyundai A-League, and growing the huge participation base of the game.

“There are challenges given the expectations that are created by the global mirror that is held up to the game in this country’s competitive sporting landscape, but enormous growth opportunities are available if the stakeholders are united.”