Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen. As most of you know, my term expires in November this year and I am obliged to be nominated for re-election to the board of FFA by the end of September in accordance with the Constitution.
MEDIA RELEASE: FFA president Lowy announces that he is not seeking re-election
Today I confirm my intention not to seek re-election.
The main goal is to give the game in the coming months all possible opportunities to expand the congress while maintaining the independence of the FFA board.
The coming period will be one of uncertainty and intense debates.
My choice was to wait until the last moment to express my intention, or now, and to provide time and space for interested parties to consider these weighty issues, knowing where I stand.
I want to remove once and for all any suggestion that the struggle to maintain an independent FFA board has everything to do with my personal interest or ambition.
When I considered being on the FFA board in 2015, I spoke with every member of Congress.
It was clear that the independence of the FFA board was the defining feature of our governance structure and I received unanimous support to put my name forward as a chairman acting independently for the sake of the game in Australia.
My only interest was and remains football and serve the national interest. 19659003] But by making this announcement now, instead of waiting for the deadline, I want to make it clear that I do not want to serve under any circumstances in a governance structure in which independence was jeopardized.
The review of the Congress Group has proposed a model that would do exactly that.
Acting as a block, as they have done in this entire process, the professional game and only two of the States could control Congress and thus the elections of directors at the FFA Council.
Being a member of the FFA Board requires that directors make difficult decisions, in particular about the increase and allocation of the limited resources of the game, which will sometimes not be popular with the professional game and different stakeholders.
The independence required to make these decisions is significantly affected when the professional game has significant control over the appointment and removal of directors.
What's more, they can also effectively control the development of a separate A-League, thereby blurring the roles of members and directors.
That has never been the goal of FIFA. FIFA aspired to a higher level of democracy within the congress, not to possible hand control of the game for the most established vested interests.
FFA has formally submitted its objections and proposed alternatives to important aspects of the proposals and we understand that a number of state federations have done the same.
So there are three possible outcomes with regard to a new congress.
One of these is that the proposals of the working group do not receive the required 75% majority of support from current members at an EGM, leading to a stalemate and further uncertainty.
The second possible outcome is that the proposals of the working group are ratified by a majority of at least 75%.
In those circumstances I would not be willing to serve as chairman after November.
There is a third possible outcome – that stakeholders take a step back and take full account of the long-term implications of a decision.
That they agree on a compromise that generates a comprehensive and balanced conference, designs a course for more autonomy for an extended A-league, and at the same time maintains a structure in which the members of the FFA board can act independently the best interests of the entire game, whether I happen to be chairman or not.
What does all this mean?
It means that again Australian football stands for an existential question: how best to control the game?  By vested interests or by a truly independent board?
Other football codes have had to do with the same question in the past: those who chose to flourish for real independence: just look at the AFL.
For the stakeholders who have to decide the future in the coming weeks, I give this warning: those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat their mistakes.
To those who are tired of the debate and want an outburst of peace, so that the game can continue with life, I say: be very careful What you wish.
So much of the debate about this struggle over governance has been woefully superficial and simplistic – treating it as a small political struggle.
This has obscured the core principle about which the game is divided.
The main principle is this: we can not allow representation to be driven by money.
We should not go to a model where the money automatically returns to where it comes from.
The fact is that the type of governance model advocated by our critics leads to the trading of political favors between a few individuals who would then control the many.
Although our game now has record sales at FFA, is a finely balanced ecosystem with too few resources.
If you allow vested interests to overwhelm the board debate, it is inevitable that other meritorious interests will lose it.
What you lose is a national approach – one in which all interests are balanced. This can not and will not happen if the commercial game exaggeratedly influences who is on the FFA board.
This is ultimately about national interest.
Not only to ensure that our national teams and grassroots get the resources they have. necessary – but in terms of who controls it.
Let me be absolutely clear: we welcome foreign investments in our competition. It is more than welcome – it is crucial.
But when it comes to the whole of our game, it should not be governed by foreign interests. That is what this is about.
Millions of Australians love our game and want it to flourish.
And there are many philosophies about how to best achieve that.
But no one can deny that the principle of independent governance was the fundamental reason for our success over the past 15 years or so.
Blue chip corporate sponsors and broadcasters have confidence in that model. Like the national and federal governments.
And it has brought success on and off the field. It has not been without setbacks and stumbling blocks that must be expected in these early days of the game's reform.
But success is clear.
The Socceroos, champions of Asia, are one of only 12 national teams from 211 in FIFA to be qualified for the past 4 World Cups.
The Matildas, current frontrunners and former champions of Asia, are a top-10 ranked football team and our progress in the ladies' game in general is world leader.
And we have announced our intention to release a bid host of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.
The A-League was created, as well as the W-League. And during the short life of the divisions, player salaries, club bonuses, average crowds and memberships and club assets have increased, while club losses have been significantly reduced.
The national Premier Leagues have been created and the FFA Cup has been introduced – a truly unique competition in the Australian sports landscape that unites the game from top to bottom.
The participation rate in our game continues to grow and is jealous of other sports codes.
The success of the game over the last 15 years was not easy. In order to achieve this, the board had to make many difficult decisions about increasing revenues and allocating the limited resources of the game, some of which were very unpopular with different members or interest groups.
That can only be done if you have a board that can make decisions without taking into account anything other than the interests of football in Australia.
Stakeholders should carefully consider these facts in the coming weeks.
Leave me this point before I take a few questions.
Our critics love to finish the game. They say it's broken.
There is no doubt that our game knows its challenges. It is far from perfect and there is a lot of hard work to realize our potential.
But no honest person can say that the game in general is not much stronger than 15 years ago, or even a few years ago.
We are now at a turning point – the game can become stronger, or it can break if vested interests have the upper hand.
The game has a great momentum on so many fronts, but this can be seriously jeopardized in a Short Time
When I became president three years ago, I said that the game in the 12 years up to that moment was a huge amount.
And I am proud that the current FFA board and senior management team, and all FFA employees have continued that work, often under very difficult circumstances.
But I said that the game we all love is very fragile and that the achievements of the reform period must be carefully protected and on which must be built on disciplined fashion.
I then argued that the game was entering a new phase.  It had to evolve and since then FFA has been working hard to try to expand the congress and expand the A-League with a new business model, so that it can maximize the return on investment for the game as a whole, too for the clubs. 19659003] That remains the goal of the FFA board – to let the game as a whole grow, so that the A-League and W-League, as well as our grassroots, football development and national teams get the resources they need to get here in Australia to pass. and on the world stage.