FTBL has had enough of the in-fighting, agendas, petty politics, backstabbing, leaks, PR nightmares, lack of vision, shonky surveys, shock sackings (have we missed anything?). Today, we’re putting forward a fresh view on the way forward for Australian football.
With the game seemingly at its lowest ebb, and the brand “trashed” as one FFA insider told the SMH, we’ve looked around at the best talent from inside the game in Australia and globally.
It’s a younger, more digitally savvy collection of individuals from Australia, Germany and the US who love the game and have snap-fresh skills relevant to taking the game forward.
We believe people like this - far less politicised and with a focus on delivering outcomes - could put in place a fresh view on how to maximize the game’s undoubted potential in Australia.
A-League Independent Commission (AIC)
An independent A-League needs people with experience but also a different way of looking at the business. Those we’ve picked have worked in Australia and overseas and all have unique skills that will benefit the league’s growth.
Anthony Di Pietro
One of the reasons Melbourne Victory are unlike the rest of the league year in year out is strong leadership, planning, and a visionary board. In this case lead by Anthony Di Pietro. He is surely the best man to engineer from the top a resurgence in the A-League brand.
Shaw has been responsible for Fox Sports’ unrivaled coverage of the A-League from day one. His knowledge and passion - plus his insights around broadcasting - would be ideal alongside Di Pietro at the Commission.
One of the people behind the wildly successful MLS expansion outfit Atlanta United, Rovak has experience across a number of sports in Atlanta and with his experience, would be an excellent choice in a ticketing and operations role. A fresh view from a US sports expert would be a smart move and showcases football’s global footprint.
Arguably the most liked but most talented media person in the game, Coonan has worked with A-League clubs and the national team. His undoubted talents should be used on the bigger stage again in a media relations role.
Another real football man who was responsible for bringing the FFT brand to Australia. Has since worked across the UK and Asia. His global contacts and a savvy business view would be of great assistance to the new league, perhaps in a strategic partnerships role. Currently working for Perform in Singapore.
The son of a football fan and media man George, Negus has been building his reputation in Asia for the last few years and with his background in football in Oz (he's worked briefly with CCM), would be a great candidate as the league’s Asian based liaison to help grow the competition in the region. Currently working in Hong Kong in a sports corporate role he is another of the younger brigade who could be given a chance.
Another young football administrator who was lost to the game after working in the A-League and with Fox Sports. Polished, young and passionate, Polistina would be an excellent events manager for the league.
In a fan services role, this young American has been part of the Atlanta United growth story. The club is achieving phenomenal growth and people like her and others in MLS could be very useful in Australia.
One of the savviest digital operators in Europe, Mennerich has been responsible for Bayern Munich’s phenomenal growth in their digital platforms. The English-speaking Mennerich would be ideal as head of digital media. His insights and experience are world class.