Over two weeks earlier this month, hundreds of football fans gave their verdict on the state of Australian football in the biggest survey of its kind.

Almost 1000 people responded to the survey – and the picture it paints of the state of the game in Australia should concern football's bosses.

We'll reveal the results over a series of articles broken up into sections – but we kick off with the questions directly relating to the way the FFA are running the game.

Our survey came in the wake of the furore over the way Matildas coach Alen Stajcic was sacked, coincidentally on the back of survey results from both Professional Footballers Australia and One Watch.

Neither organisation suggested or recommended anyone should be sacked over the results of their surveys, but the FFA chose to swing the axe after a brief interview with Stajcic himself about the findings.

Today though FTBL can reveal less than six percent of those surveyed have faith in the FFA and the way it's running the sport.

A crushing 81.94 percent said they had no faith in the FFA at all, while another 12 percent were on the fence either way.


Last November sweeping changes were finally voted in that saw former chairman Stephen Lowy ousted from the board as a new Congress set up was introduced which brought in four new board members and a new chairman.

Supporters of the game had hoped the reform would bring in a brave new age for Australian football.

But just three months later, fans say the new board has been a massive disappointment.

Just seven percent think the FFA has been improved by the new board and structure, against the 67.25 percent who already disagree, with 25.21 percent still undecided.

But it is Chief Executive David Gallop who comes in for the heaviest vote of no confidence among fans.

On a scale of 1-10, just shy of 40 percent rated him a mere one – with many complaining that 0 was not an option. Another 13 percent gave him a score of two, and a further 12 percent rated his six years in office as a three.

Overall, three-quarters of those who responded felt he had been a failure and scored him four or less.

Two people gave him a score of nine, no-one scored him a 10, and in total less than 15 percent rated him as a six or better in the job.

However there was more optimism about the job the FFA has done since taking over from Soccer Australia and re-inventing the top tier of the game.

When asked if fans thought the FFA has improved football in Australia since 2005, almost half, 48.85 percent, said they had, with 41 percent disagreeing and another 10 percent unsure.

And there was also some encouraging reaction to the A-League overall, now in its 14 year, with almost 60 percent of respondents saying they felt included by the A-League.

But there is a still a huge chunk of the population on the sidelines, with 40.97 percent still feeling marginalised and excluded by Australia's top tier tournament.

Today Football Supporters Australia hailed the findings but admitted: "There are no real surprises in results from this survey."

Interim chairman Pablo Bateson added: "The negativity of fans towards the new board and CEO of FFA highlights the massive gulf between grassroots supporters and leadership of the national administrative body for our football

"Clearly, there is very little confidence or trust in David Gallop as CEO which reinforces the need for a change at the top in this critical position

"FSA acknowledges there have been many improvements for football since 2005, however is deeply concerned that so many fans still feel marginalised and excluded by the way the A-League operates and is run."

He added: "The FFA Board's credibility has been on the line especially since the 'sacking' of Alen Stajcic.

"Until an independent investigation is undertaken they will struggle to rebuild confidence from fans even in the face of positive contributions around progressing opportunities such as establishing a second tier league with eventual promotion and relegation

"We hope that the biggest unresolved issue affecting fans, that of the overall policing of football, is properly addressed by the Board and a new senior management team."

TOMORROW: We look at what fans want from the sport in Australia