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24 Nov 2017 5:25
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Soccer

    Huge blow for Lowy as FFV sides with clubs

    The deadlock over Australian soccer's new congress model will come to a head at Wednesday's EGM when FFA attempt to push through its desired model.


    Steven Lowy's grip on power at the top of Australian football has been dealt a colossal blow after the decisive voter in this week's pivotal EGM told the FFA chairman it would not back the governing body.

    Football Federation Victoria (FFV) holds the balance of power in Wednesday's crunch meeting, called by FFA to try to push through a new congress model staunchly opposed by the clubs and players' union.

    Lowy, aware of FFV's significance in his own future, is understood to have flown to Melbourne to lobby its president Kimon Taliadoros on Monday evening.

    But hours before the scheduled meeting, Taliadoros sent Lowy a letter making it clear he would not be persuaded to side with FFA and seven other state federations.

    In the letter obtained by AAP, he indicated the congress changes on the table fall "significantly short of satisfying" the wishes of stakeholders and FIFA's mandate for more democratic governance.

    Taliadoros subsequently urged Lowy to withdraw FFA's notice for the EGM, notify FIFA and "immediately return to negotiations with the stakeholders" as time ticks down to the November 30 deadline.

    FFV's statement of intent is huge in the context of the ugly, drawn-out impasse that has engulfed Australian football for a year.

    To enact constitutional change, the FFA board requires consensus from 75 per cent of its current 10 members - the states have nine votes and the clubs one.

    With seven states in favour of FFA's structure and Football NSW the only one against it, FFV is set to wield Wednesday's deciding vote.

    FFV's position has not always been clear, but it has previously offered conditional support for FFA, with a key proviso that the governing body commit to supporting progress on a national second division.

    In Monday's letter, Taliadoros also asked FFA to engage with the Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) to consolidate a roadmap for a second tier, something chief executive David Gallop hosed down only last week.

    It follows news the clubs have decided not to seek an injunction to have the EGM ruled illegal.

    Instead, Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin warned Lowy via a letter on Saturday that the EGM would constitute "a final cynical act" destroying the board's credibility and mandate.

    A "commensurate" response from the clubs would follow should FFA force through its favoured framework, made up of nine state votes, four for the clubs, one for Professional Footballers Australia and one for the women's game.

    The clubs and PFA want a 9-5-1-1 model featuring one extra vote for the clubs, a small but crucial difference that would ensure the nine states no longer have majority power to elect FFA's board.

    Even if Lowy gets his way - now a near-uncertainty - the ultimate decision still lies with FIFA, which has already made it clear reforms must be agreed to by all stakeholders -- identified by the world governing body as the states, clubs and PFA.

    A resolution must be struck by November 30 or FIFA will remove Lowy and his board and install a normalisation committee to run Australian soccer.

    © 2017 NZN, NZCity


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