FFA outline plan for the future of Australian football

Football Federation Australia yesterday released a discussion paper that will be used to shape the future of football in the country.

Titled ‘XI Principles for the future of Australian football’, the document proposes a plan that focuses on establishing a clear identity for the game, a world-class environment for youth development and the creation of a domestic transfer system, amongst other points.

FFA CEO James Johnson believes it is the right time to get the ball rolling on possible changes to the sport, after receiving substantial feedback about the state of the game in his first six months in the job.

“Throughout the course of 2020 FFA has received extensive feedback in relation to areas of possible transformation from stakeholders, partners and participants across the Australian football ecosystem,” Johnson said.

“Based on this feedback, FFA has developed the eleven principles outlined in the document, supported by a range of proposed measures that could be introduced in pursuit of these principles.

“The eleven principles cover a wide cross-section of the Australian game and seeks to address some of the major challenges it faces today – from the development of Australia’s football identity, to the optimisation of competition structures, the establishment of world class youth development pathways, and the ongoing positioning of Australia’s national teams – especially the Westfield Matildas and Socceroos – as the unifying symbols of the sport.”

From Monday, FFA will release a number of surveys on the principles listed, giving the football community the chance to provide feedback and express their views.

Those eleven principles are:

  1. Build a consistent and strong identity for Australian football which inspires all Australians.
  2. Develop a new narrative for football which signifies a fresh start for the game in Australia, successfully ties together all new initiatives and distinguishes it from other sporting codes in the country.
  3. Establish an integrated and thriving football ecosystem driven by a modern domestic transfer system.
  4. Create a dynamic and engaging football product by optimising competition structures to connect Australian football; promote competitive balance and tension; promote uncertainty of outcome; incentivise sporting achievement; and prioritise the fan experience.
  5. Create a world class environment for youth development/production by increasing match minutes for youth players and streamlining the player pathway.
  6. Create a strong culture around coach development by emphasising the importance of the role as a skilled position and a vital link in player development.
  7. Transition towards a modern, fit-for-purpose governance framework for football in Australia in line with global standards and best-practice sports governance in Australia.
  8. Create an operating and governance model for the A-League, W-League and Y-League which is fit for the current circumstances.
  9. Ensure that football becomes more open and accessible to the Australian community and that cost does not remain a barrier to participation.
  10. Continue the growth of the game by driving participation of women and girls and enhancing existing competition structures to promote player development.
  11. Position the Westfield Matildas and the Socceroos as the unifying symbols of the game and heroes who epitomise the Australian football identity to inspire every young Australian regardless of their ability or background.

View the full ‘XI Principles’ document here.

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Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Graduates congratulated after completing FIFA Diploma in Club Management program

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has congratulated the 2024 graduates of the FIFA Diploma in Club Management course at FIFA headquarters, which include former Socceroo Tim Cahill and former Manchester City player Fernandinho.

Since its launch in 2021, the FIFA Diploma in Club Management has become a networking platform for senior club executives to share knowledge about the industry insights essential for successful football club management. The 18-month course is comprised of six-course models, each covering important topics and aspects of club management.

The topics which are covered in this course are leadership and management, sporting strategy and youth academies, marketing and communication, club operations and stadium management, governance and legal matters and finance.

Infantino spoke to the attendees of the graduation ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland:

“The course’s aim was to encourage knowledge and best practice exchange to be able to ensure football’s continued growth and health worldwide,” he said in a statement.

“You understand that club football is crucial for the development and the survival of football in all countries of the world.

“That is what we have to foster and what we have to work on, and to do this, you have to be well-equipped and well-prepared, and this is our aim at FIFA: to give you this preparation, to give you this equipment, to open the doors of FIFA here in Zurich and everywhere in the world.

“Our doors are open for you to come and exchange with us, and also to exchange between yourselves.”

The graduates of the second edition of the FIFA Diploma in Club Management started back in September 2022 in New York where they attended lectures given by the likes of FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger and FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Berman and their final project of the course was a strategy plan which was presented before the graduation.

The third edition of the program began in May 2024 and is headed by FIFA Director of Professional Football Ornella Desirée Bellia. Some of the participants who are involved include former Juventus player Giorgio Chiellini and Como 1907 coach Cesc Fàbregas alongside club owners, CEO’s and sporting directors.

Soccerscene celebrates sixth-year anniversary

Soccerscene is celebrating its sixth anniversary as Australia’s business-to-business publication for the football community.

Since its inception, Soccerscene has committed to the highest standards of reporting on the most pressing topics surrounding the world of sports business. We have been the first port of call for potential buyers and sellers and deliver all the first-hand news – including interviews, discussions, product reviews, case studies and insight into all facets of the growing Australian and international football market.

Here at Soccerscene, we can’t celebrate six years without thanking all our readers, followers and the numerous industry and club communities for helping us along the way.

Special thanks goes to our major partners including Football Coaches Australia, Professional Footballers Australia and Box2Box – your constant support has been crucial to all we have achieved over these last six years.

Thank you to everyone and we are excited for the future years ahead in this constantly developing industry – from all us at Soccerscene.

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