Chief executive Gallop to quit FFA in wake of A-League overhaul
David Gallop, the chief executive of Football Federation Australia, will step down at the end of the year, as the domestic governing body prepares to implement substantial changes to the professional game in the country.
Chris Nikou, chairman of the FFA, announced today that Gallop would leave his role on 31 December, despite his contract with the federation running until late 2020.
His decision to step down comes two weeks after an agreement was reached between the men’s A-League, the top professional soccer league in the country, and FFA, ensuring that the A-League will be run independently of FFA from next year.
The women's W-League and the Y-League, the national youth league, will also be taken away from the control of FFA, under a series of recommendations endorsed by the New Leagues Working Group (NLWG), a body mandated by Fifa.
Gallop has admitted his departure was based on these changes.
He said: “With the 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. It makes sense for everyone to have time to openly determine what that new role and new leadership look like.“My aim is to ensure there is a seamless transition, with minimal interruption to the good work of the very many people in the member federations, the leagues, the NPL and community clubs who work so hard to deliver on the game's extensive agenda.”
Nikou added: “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.”
Gallop succeeded Ben Buckley as chief executive seven years ago. He was involved with finalising Australia’s bid to host the Fifa 2023 Women’s World Cup (now submitted) and also secured a six-year broadcast deal for the A-League worth A$345 million ($241 million) with Fox Sports, which runs to the end of the 2022-23 season. He also introduced the FFA Cup, Australia's main national men's knockout cup competition, in 2017.
Under the planned restructure of professional soccer, finer details of which are expected to be agreed by 1 August, FFA will receive a minimum annual contribution of A$4.5 million from league revenues to fund national team and grassroot initiatives, albeit this will be waived for the next four seasons.
The leagues will be run by an independent chairman and representatives of each of the 12 club licence-holders, with two additional representatives from FFA, who will be responsible for the commercialisation and growth of the leagues’ intellectual property and commercial rights. FFA will receive 10 per cent of future sales of club licences or net profits on the sale of existing licences, 10 per cent from any transfer of Australian A-League players to foreign clubs, and will also retain a 20-per-cent share in the new league body