FFA Chairman Steven Lowy’s replacement will be known on Monday
FFA Chairman Steven Lowy’s replacement will be known on Monday

Favourites emerge as FFA showdown looms

AUSTRALIA football's stakeholders meet in Sydney on Monday to decide Football Federation Australia's direction in the post-Lowy era.

The annual general meeting will see the election of new board members and a new chairperson to follow titan Frank Lowy and his son Steven, the two occupants of the role over the past 15 years.

With A-League independence and expansion, the 2023 Women's World Cup bid and rampant grassroots costs on the sport's agenda, it's a major decision.

The new chair could be a relative unknown, with Chris Nikou and Joseph Carrozzi among the likely nominees.

Former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy could be drafted in at the last minute despite not nominating for the position in his paperwork. Backroom negotiating will decide their fates, but one thing is clear, it won't be Craig Foster.

The former Socceroos captain laid out a 4000-word manifesto and rallied support among those fed up with FFA's bumbling administration.

Foster withdrew his support on Friday after seeing the writing on the wall from conservatively-minded voters.

Long-time adversary Robbie Slater lamented his withdrawal on Sunday.

Former Socceroo Craig Foster will not contest the vote.
Former Socceroo Craig Foster will not contest the vote. Marc Stapelberg

"He's spent two decades working for our country's players ... for the grassroots through the John Moriarty Foundation, and for the fans through SBS.

"Why, then, was there no room for him at the leadership table, if not as chairman then at least as a director?

"He may be the people's champion, the people don't get a vote at this election, and perhaps his vision was too far from the status quo for those who control the game." The secret ballot, which will be streamed by FFA, uses a complicated voting system designed in the recent democratisation process.

Each member federation has 6.11 per cent of the vote, A-League clubs wield 28 per cent and will vote as a block, the PFA has seven per cent and the 10-member women's council have a per cent each.

Heather Reid for FFA board
Heather Reid for FFA board

Four candidates will be elected, each needing to garner 60 per cent of the vote.

PFA may have lost one of its choices in Foster, but deputy chief executive Kate Gill implored voters to consider Heather Reid strongly.

The former Capital Football boss has many decades of experience in the game - and is a vital female voice when most of the discussion is swirling around men.

"Women bring a different mindset. A different way of looking at things. Diversity and inclusion is important," Gill said.

"The way our society has moved to include women, and other corporations have done, we'd be stupid not to follow.

"Heather has football expertise, she's got board expertise. She's entrenched with a lot of different touchpoints in the football ecosystem."