Johnson to succeed Gallop as FFA chief executive

Players of Australia celebrate as Mathew Leckie scores their side's winning penalty in the shoot out during the AFC Asian Cup round of 16 match against Uzbekistan (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Football Federation Australia has today (Friday) appointed James Johnson as its new chief executive.

Johnson will begin the role in January 2020 and replace David Gallop as FFA chief executive. The FFA announced in July that Gallop, whose contract had been due to expire in late 2020, would be making an early departure from the role amid ongoing reform efforts at the organisation.

At the time, the FFA said Gallop’s notice of his intention to stand down would grant time to find a suitable candidate for a “reshaped role” in 2020, and Johnson has now been confirmed as his replacement.

Johnson most recently served as senior vice-president of external affairs with the City Football Group and has also worked for Fifa, football’s global governing body; the Asian Football Confederation; and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA). He also played for the Australian U17 national team in 1999 and for the Brisbane Strikers Soccer Club.

FFA chairman Chris Nikou said: “Having run a domestic and international executive search, and in a strong field of candidates, we have no doubt James is the right person for the role. We are thrilled that he is coming back to Australia at this important time for the game.”

Nikou added: “He is one of the few leaders in the sport who has spent his playing and executive career within the various stakeholder groups associated with football and in this time of change we think that matters.

“James has inarguably made a meaningful contribution to the code globally. A lawyer by training, throughout his executive career, James has been at the centre of many major industry negotiations, managing multi-stakeholder situations and projects including currently representing Manchester City Football Club within the Uefa and European Clubs Association (ECA) bodies in the ongoing reforms to the competition format, match calendar, financial distribution model and qualification pathway to the Uefa Champions League.”

Earlier this year, the 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 Australia.

Read this: FFA embraces ‘challenger brand’ status as A-League spin-off heralds new dawn for Australian soccer