Former Football Federation Australia technical director Rob Sherman admits the role was so compromised by competing factions he could do nothing during his 10 months in the job.
The one project Sherman got underway was a rewrite of academy criteria for clubs across the country - but that had stalled since December with no feedback in the months that followed.
"You can't just implement these things overnight," he said. "There's a process you have to go through, you have to prepare people. The likelihood of that getting rolled out this year would become more difficult.
"Looking at the international sphere and the finances of the FFA, and doing what we wanted to do, was looking more and more difficult.
"I could just see barrier after barrier."
By the time the Covid crisis hit, Sherman had already resigned – but the opportunities created for a massive reset of Australian football during the lockdown only frustrated him further.
While working out his notice, he saw a chance to use the shutdown to reinvent the way the sport was run.
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"There was a window of opportunity because of the lack of activity," he said.
"Generally what happens – because the football side of the game is under resourced – the technical people are so busy that they don't have time to build resources, redefine and refine programs, because they're so busy just delivering what they've got to do.
"It was a perfect opportunity to co-ordinate a whole raft of things and get input from a whole raft of people across the game in this hiatus and actually get yourself lined up so that when restart happens all the ducks are in in place.
"And that hasn't happened."
Sherman sees potential in the Japanese model which puts the football first and commercial input is simply there to support the rest of the sport.
In Australia, he believes it has been the other way around for too long - and there's no vision to change it.
"Japan's often used as a model," he said. "If you look at their model as a diagram, they've got this rather large oval called football and supporting that is operations and business.
"And so the way the game looks – structured, delivered, coached and programs in schools – is all in place. Business and operations are the support mechanism to bring that to life.
"And I'm a firm believer that that's the way that is the most beneficial long term."
Australia, however, works in reverse, says Sherman. He added: "I just think that there's a mindset that they're in which is around the business model.
"Operations being primary, and the football almost secondary.
"Just shifting that [was difficult] in terms of [being] the lone voice because actually there aren't that many from the technical side represented in those conversations..."
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