July 11 – Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop has announced he is stepping down on December 31 as the sport prepares to implement far-reaching changes.
Gallop, who joined the FFA in 2012, is walking away from the final year of his reported $1.3 million per annum contract in the wake of the major governance overhaul of the domestic game that will see the professional leagues split from the national body.
“With the NLWG (New League Working Group) recommendations to bring about fundamental changes to Australia’s professional competitions … the chief executive’s role as it currently exists will be a very different, narrower role,” Gallop said in a statement on Thursday.
“It makes sense for everyone to have time to openly determine what that new role and new leadership looks like.”
The 53-year-old, a former chief executive of Australia’s National Rugby League, had been contracted with the FFA until late 2020.
Gallop’s tenure at FFA saw Australia win their first men’s Asian Cup title in 2015. He also secured a six-year broadcasting agreement worth $241.27 million, the largest in the organisation’s history.
But FFA and the professional clubs were locked in a two-year struggle that saw FIFA threaten Australia’s membership if they did not accept governance changes. FFA’s Congress voted in favour of changes to the constitution at an Extraordinary General Meeting last October, which paved the way for the separation of the professional leagues from the FFA.
Gallop hoped the FFA and its professional clubs could continue to work together in the future.
“Football is the true world game and many Australians from all backgrounds want to see it grow bigger and stronger in the decades to come,” he added.
“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.”
With the A-League being controlled by the clubs instead of FFA, local reports suggested this effectively halved the responsibilities and potential remuneration of the chief executive.
Gallop’s decision caps a tumultuous period for football in Australia following the abrupt sacking of Matildas coach Alen Stajcic before the women’s world cup. An independent review into the dismissal is due to commence in the coming months.
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