Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bonita Mersiades on FIFA Reform

Bonita Mersiades is a former official of the Football Federation Australia (a position from which she was sacked), who was once called "one of the most powerful woman in Australian sport." Last month at the Chartered Secretaries Australia Conference she presented a scathing assessment of the current state of football governance (here in PDF). Below are a few excerpts.

What we seek is not complex: we want an international governing body that has the same level of transparency and accountability that we expect of our governments, major institutions and organisations. We want an organisation that is responsible to the many millions of people who play the game, the billions who are fans and one that meets standards befitting of its $1.3 billion turnover.

We believe that the only way in which real reform will be achieved is for good governments around the world to follow Damian Collins’ lead. FIFA deserves condemnation as it has brought football into disrepute – not on‐the‐field, but off it.

FIFA needs a clean slate. Governments, with the support of the corporate sponsors, should demand an interim time‐limited administration, led by an eminent person with a broad mandate to develop a new Constitution, governance arrangements and policies and to conduct new elections.
On the leadership of the FFA:
And, closer to home and thinking of the FFA, if Andrew Demetriou had been CEO of the AFL (Australian Rules football) for five years and had presided over a bid for an international competition which spent $46 million of taxpayers’ money and resulted in one vote; a national competition in which expansion had spectacularly failed and in which the clubs were losing between $20‐25 million a year; an 8% decline in participation rates of boys aged 5‐14 years playing the sport; six CFOs in five years; a 6% decrease in revenue and a 12% increase in costs; and a report from the Federal Government that showed the sport was in a state of financial calamity with its long term sustainability entirely dependent on the national team and the next TV deal, would he still have a job?

I suspect the answer would be no . . .
 Read the entire presentation here in PDF.


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