Sport Football FFA board election explained: The vote that will shape Australian football
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FFA board election explained: The vote that will shape Australian football

Socceroos
The Socceroos in action against Korea Republic on Saturday. Photo: AAP
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Monday is a watershed day for Australian football.  

The two-year insurgency by A-League clubs and the Professional Footballers Association to dethrone Steven Lowy as chairman of Football Federation Australia has been declared mission accomplished.

At Monday’s FFA annual general meeting the Lowy-led era for football in Australia will be over and the newly expanded FFA Congress will vote in four FFA board directors, forming the nucleus of Australia’s new football leadership.

Two of the Lowy-era board appointees have decided to see out their terms, which run for another 12 months. This decision by Kelly Bayer Rosmarin and Crispin Murray sits uncomfortably with the PFA and A-League clubs, who feel these Lowy-era board members are rejecting the FFA Congress’s desire for fresh leadership.

Another twist in developments occurred last week when SBS media pundit and former Socceroo Craig Foster controversially withdrew from the race after his camp couldn’t get enough support to guarantee his election.

Craig Foster
Craig Foster withdrew from the FFA election race last week. Photo: Getty

Foster joined the highly-fancied candidate Judith Griggs (former Australian Grand Prix CEO and chair of the FFA’s Congress Review Working Group) who withdrew her candidacy citing international business commitments.

Over the weekend an effort to reach consensus within the FFA Congress to avoid an election was still a work in progress.

In many ways it is back to the future for FFA with sources reporting the FFA Congress is showing similar behaviour to that of the old Soccer Australia constituency with alliances forming to support preferred candidates. That is sure to have the alarm bells ringing for football fans who thought those days were in the past.

About 4pm (AESDT) on Monday, the successful candidates will be announced and if, as expected, the new board meets straight after Australian football will also have a new chair.

Here’s a guide to the candidates and their history. 

Stephen Conroy (nominated for chair)

Stephen Conroy
Stephen Conroy alongside Senator Penny Wong. Photo: Getty

Conroy is a former Labor senator in federal Parliament. He was a minister in the Rudd and Gillard federal governments.

As minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy he was responsible for the design and implementation of the National Broadband Network between 2007 and 2013.

In 2016 Conroy was appointed as the executive director of Responsible Wagering Australia.

Heather Reid

Reid is a pioneer in women’s football and often referred to as the “custodian of Australia’s women’s football journey”.

Heather Reid
Women’s football pioneer Heather Reid. Photo: Getty

Reid played an influential role in the establishment of the Women’s World Cup and securing women’s football at the Olympic Games. She is a former Capital Football and Canberra United W-League CEO.

Reid was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2015 for her contributions to football and gender equity. She was also a board member of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Australia.

Chris Nikou (current board member seeking re-election and nominated for chair)

Chris Nikou is a senior partner of global legal firm K&L Gates. 

Nikou is a former Melbourne Victory board member, former Football Federation of Victoria (FFV) chairman and a director of Melbourne Renegades (T20 Big Bash). He served on the board of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Australia.

He also chairs the FFA’s internal Women’s Committee, and, notably, was the FFA board representative on the Congress Review Working Group (CRWG), including signing off on its recommendations.

Mark Shield

Mark Shield
Mark Shield at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Photo: Getty

Shield is a former referee and national director of referees. He was selected for the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, the 2006 Asian Champions League final and the 2007 AFC Asian Cup.

Shield was admitted to the FFA Hall of Fame in 2010. In September 2011, FFA appointed Shield as the new national director of referees, giving him responsibility for coaching and development of referees as well as appointment of referees to national competitions.

Joseph Carrozzi (nominated for chair)

Carrozzi is a managing partner at PwC Australia and heads the firm’s Sydney office.

He is deputy chair of AFL club Greater Western Sydney, chair of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, chair of the Centenary Institute for Medical Research and a board member of the NSW Institute of Sport.

Carrozzi was appointed by the NSW government to the board of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup Australia.

Daniel Moulis (current board member seeking re-election)

Moulis is a former Socceroo and player in the NSL. He is a lawyer with his own practice: Moulis Legal. He is a former chair of the Trade and Customs Law Committee of the International Bar Association Section on Business Law, and is an experienced WTO panellist.

He served on the Disciplinary Committee of FFA (before he became a Director), was chair of Canberra Cosmos FC, and was a director of the Johnny Warren Football Foundation.

Remo Nogarotto

Nogarotto, a former chairman of Soccer Australia, NSL Commission chairman and director of NSW Liberal Party, has more than 30 years of football administrative history, serving on the boards at Marconi, Northern Spirit and Newcastle Jets.

Remo divides his time between Crosby Textor’s London, Milan and Sydney offices running their international operations. He has been a guest lecturer at the Bocconi University in Milan to the FIFA Masters Class in international sports law and management.

Linda Norquay

Norquay is the chief financial officer of Lachlan Murdoch’s private investment company Illyria. She was appointed to the board of Funtastic (a multi-category family lifestyle company) in September 2011 as an independent non-executive director.

Norquay has financial services experience and has previously held senior roles at Allco Finance Group, Macquarie Bank Limited and Barclays Bank Plc in London.

Morry Bailes

Long-time Football Federation SA Board member (2006-2013). He is managing partner at Tindall Gask Bentley law firm.

He is currently president of the Law Council of Australia and chair of Lawguard Management. He was president of the Law Society of SA from 2013-2014.

Mark Rendell (nominated for chair)

Rendell is a former FFV CEO (2007-2012) before taking up the chief executive role at Gymnastics Australia (2012-2017). He was also the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) executive as the Oceania representative in 2017.  

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