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FFA launches Domestic Transfer System discussion webinars

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has released the first, in what will be part of a series of webinars regarding the establishment of a modern Domestic Transfer System (DTS).

The webinars will range from November 28 to December 10. The first instalment features discussion around the concept of a DTS, the benefits and challenges of the system, and the potential for reform and evolution in Australia.

FFA CEO James Johnson believes the introduction of a tailored Australian DTS would create enormous benefits for football in the country.

“Australian football has not operated with a properly functioning modern transfer system for some time, creating a ‘gap’ in the Australian football ecosystem, which requires remedy,” Johnson said.

“This is no more evident than in the total value of transfers received. The total global value of international transfers continues to grow, with FIFA reporting that this reached USD7.35 billion in 2019 and yet Australia received less than USD2 million for the same period – this represents a significant loss of opportunity for Australian clubs, players, and the game, generally.”

“In June this year, FFA’s ‘Starting XI’ – which features some of the most internationally experienced minds in Australian football – recommended that we introduce a DTS, understanding that a well-governed and fit-for-purpose system would provide much-needed stimulus to the Australian football economy, and lay the platform for Australia to further access the international transfer market.

The requirement for a DTS forms part of FFA’s XI Principles for the future of Australian football. Principle III is specifically dedicated to stimulating the growth of the Australian football economy via the establishment of a modern DTS.

The first webinar, accessible here, features football broadcaster Simon Hill speaking with Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold and Adelaide United FC Football Director, Bruce Djite, regarding their experiences with transfer systems.

“Importantly, a modern DTS would help address some of the player development challenges we have identified in our Performance Gap studies by ensuring that clubs, at all levels of the game, are appropriately incentivised to continuously and sustainably invest in the training and development of players,” Johnson added.

“The aim of our webinars, and the subsequent release of a DTS Reform White Paper in December, is to raise awareness of the global transfer system and encourage and facilitate discourse on the DTS.”

Upcoming instalments will feature input from professionals from leading international football organisations, such as Manchester United FC and the European Club Association.

Patrick Stewart, General Counsel at Manchester United, and Lina Souloukou, General Manager at Olympiakos, will join Mel McLaughlin for the second webinar, as transfer system strategies and insights are explored in conversation with representatives from two of European football’s biggest clubs.

In the third webinar, Mark Bosnich will be joined by Jose Luis Andrade, General Counsel of the European Clubs Association, and Dr Erkut Sogut, Vice Present of the Professional Agent’s Association, as the foundations of the system and its operations are explored.

In mid-December, FFA will release a DTS Reform White Paper that will serve as a conduit to stakeholder engagement throughout the process of crafting Australia’s DTS framework, with all stakeholders afforded the opportunity to contribute. The release of the DTS Reform White Paper will represent a key milestone in the establishment of Australia’s modern DTS, and outline a prospective timeline for implementation.

Football West to welcome Jamie Harnwell as new CEO

Football West has announced the appointment of Jamie Harnwell as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

Football West has announced the appointment of Jamie Harnwell as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

Harnwell will succeed outgoing CEO James Curtis, who is stepping down after spending almost six years in the role.

Harnwell has been involved with Football West for over 12 years, with his most recent position being Chief Football Officer. Prior to that, he had worked as Acting Chief Operating Officer and Head of Development.

Before joining Football West, Harnwell was the captain of A-Leagues club Perth Glory, as well as the record-appearance holder He made 256 appearances for the Glory men’s squad, where in the process he was involved in back-to-back national championships.

Football West Chairman Sherif Andrawes:

“Football West is delighted to announce Jamie Harnwell as our new CEO,” he said.

“Jamie is a real football person, from his days as a star player at Perth Glory to becoming a top coach in both the A-League Women’s and NPLWA – Men’s competitions. He has transferred the drive and dedication needed to succeed on the pitch to his roles at Football West.

“In addition, Jamie also possesses the necessary skills and vision to drive Football West forward as we continue to grow the sport in WA and we move towards the opening of the State Football Centre and the 2023 Women’s World Cup and beyond.

“Jamie has worked closely with James Curtis for a number of years, and in terms of senior management, it is great that he has been able to ‘learn on the job’ and is well placed to lead the team at Football West over what will be an exciting period for our sport in WA.

“Following an extensive nationwide search and the assessment of several excellent candidates, Jamie proved to be the stand-out. We look forward to him leading Football West in the years ahead and continuing the terrific progress achieved under James Curtis.”

Incoming Football West Chief Executive Officer Jamie Harnwell:

“It is exciting to become CEO of Football West and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

“We are the biggest team sport in the country in terms of participation and we are in a fantastic position. But there is still plenty of potential for further growth, especially here in WA.

“It has been terrific to work with James Curtis and gain invaluable experience, now I am ready to put my own stamp on the position.”

Harnwell will work together with Curtis until the latter departs from Football West on March 31, 2022.

Sky Sports extends rights to NIFL

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will be the exclusive broadcaster of Football in the region once again.

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will once again be the exclusive broadcaster of top-flight football in the region for the next three years.

The Irish League has had a long-lasting partnership with Sky over the years and the agreement will see the relationship in place until the end of the 2024/25 season.

The new agreement will see four Danske Bank Premiership fixtures and the BetMcLean League Cup final broadcast live across the UK & Ireland each season.

Northern Ireland Football Chief Executive, Gerard Lawlor:

“We sincerely thank Sky Sports for their continued backing of our game and we look forward to showcasing some of the best NI Football League matches together over the next three seasons,” he said.

“To continue to have the invaluable support of such a high-profile broadcaster shows how far our league has progressed in recent years as we bring our game to an increasing audience of loyal fans.

“The NI Football League brand is continuing to grow outside of the confines of Northern Ireland, and through Sky Sports, many football fans are now becoming more familiar with the rich history of our clubs and as well as some of the household names that have played in the Irish League.”

Sky Sports Director of Football, Gary Hughes:

“As a long-term partner to the Northern Ireland Football League, we’re delighted to extend Sky Sports’ support of the league and ensure that its entertaining action continues to be available to our customers,” he said.

“Sky Sports customers will be able to enjoy the Northern Ireland Football league alongside our ever-expanding football offering in the UK & Ireland which includes over 500 live games in 2022, from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and FA Women’s Super League as well as international action in the form of World Cup Qualifiers, and this month’s Africa Cup of Nations – placing Sky Sports as the home of live football.”

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