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FOOTBALL Federation Australia should immediately implement the findings of an independent national public inquiry into the game by Football Australia for the benefit of all stakeholders, says FA founding member Clive Palmer.
FA Independent Commissioner Gary Collis presented the findings of his public inquiry in Brisbane today, which include recommendations for the corporate structure of the FFA to be broken down.
“The findings of this inquiry should be used as a catalyst for change as they reflect the views of the Australian football community,” he said.
Mr Collis compiled his findings and recommendations after an extensive tour of the country to attend hearings in Brisbane, Townsville, Newcastle, Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, where he heard submissions from a wide cross-section of the football community keen to express their views.
The 48-page document will be distributed to a broad range of organisations, including FFA, media outlets, football associations and key stakeholders, as well as members of parliament at both state and federal levels.
Terms of reference covered the failure of the Olyroos to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics, the high cost of junior participation, the degree of encouragement provided to women to participate in the game, the structure, governance and sustainability of the A-League in its current form, as well as any other matters of importance to the game.
Mr Palmer thanked Mr Collis for his diligent work and said the inquiry’s findings should herald a new era of accountability and transparency in the game that could only benefit football’s future.
“Our aim has been to press for transparency in the game and bring heightened awareness to the issues that the football community considers to be vital to the game’s wellbeing and progress,” he said.
“The FFA has already adopted many recommendations I had made over a long period of time while I was with Gold Coast United.
“The inquiry and its findings show a significant level of disenchantment at grassroots level and beyond. These are the views of football community and the issues raised should now be taken seriously, and acted upon, by the governing bodies at national and state levels.
“I understand that FFA is beginning a process of listening to the views of A-League club owners who invest millions of dollars into the sport and this principle should also be extended to the wider football community.
“I am no longer a shareholder of an A-League club but I still have concerns for the players and the fans of the game.”
Mr Collis thanked everyone who gave submissions, either at the hearings around the country or by phone, for their honesty and insight when expressing their views or concerns.
“Every contributor had something to offer and I commend both the passion and integrity of all the individuals or groups I met or spoke with,” he said.
“What is clear is that many people who love the game, and are involved in the game, lack confidence in the current administration at FFA and their concerns should be addressed.”