Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy.
Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy.

A-League clubs poised to defeat Lowy

STEVEN Lowy's leadership of Australian football is hanging in the balance after his attempts to force through a new power structure were dramatically rebuffed.

Lowy will lobby football officials in Victoria today in a last-ditch attempt to save the voting structure he has championed for Football Federation Australia's Congress, under pressure from FIFA to make it more democratic.

But two years after he succeeded his father, Lowy appears doomed to defeat in the emergency general meeting he has called for Wednesday.

If Lowy loses the vote, or is forced to cancel the EGM, it will inevitably spark calls for him to step aside after he invested huge personal capital in defying the demands of A-League clubs to give them a greater share of the voting rights at congress.

Lowy's cause was dealt an apparently fatal blow on Monday when Football Federation Victoria, one of the 10 voters in Wednesday's EGM, wrote to him to say they could not support his proposals.

The nine state associations, and the A-League clubs combined, make up the 10-vote electorate that FIFA has deemed undemocratic.

In the letter, seen by The Daily Telegraph, FFV calls on Lowy to withdraw the EGM and return to the negotiating table with the state associations and A-League clubs.

 

Socceroos head coach Ange Postecoglou.
Socceroos head coach Ange Postecoglou.

With Football NSW and the A-League clubs also voting against, it means Lowy can't get the 75% majority he needs to pass his reforms.

FIFA has warned it would install its own ­"normalisation committee" leadership if a new Congress was not in place by November 30. Under Lowy's model the states would continue to have nine votes and the clubs four, with the PFA and a representative of the women's game getting one apiece.

But the clubs, backed by the PFA, will not accept fewer than five votes because that would prevent state federations from being able to appoint FFA's board of directors by themselves.

On a day of increasing tension, the A-League clubs launched a fresh salvo at Lowy and underlined their loss of faith in him.

Though the clubs have backed away from their threat of legal action over the EGM, they warned of a "commensurate response" if FFA proceeded with the attempted revamp of its voting structure in the teeth of ­bitter opposition from the clubs and players' union (PFA).

In yet another strongly worded letter, Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin told Lowy that the "FFA board's credibility and its continuing mandate is dependent on it withdrawing this EGM", which Griffin claimed was "a final cynical act to undermine ... governance reform".

FFA did not respond to a question over Lowy's willingness to continue if he loses tomorrow's vote. Even if the reforms are passed, the clubs and PFA are confident FIFA will not accept them and will install a normalisation committee anyway on the basis that consensus for reform had not been reached among all the stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Ange Postecoglou (pictured below left) is poised to face the general media for the first time today since reports broke that he is set to stand down after the games against Hon­duras, regardless of the outcome.

 

Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy.
Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy.


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