FFA extends Gallop's contract after solid run at the helm

MEN AT THE TOP: Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou (left), FFA Chairman Frank Lowy and FFA CEO David Gallop.
MEN AT THE TOP: Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou (left), FFA Chairman Frank Lowy and FFA CEO David Gallop. AAP

THIS week's announcement that Football Federation Australia had extended the contract of chief executive David Gallop was a no-brainer.

When Ben Buckley left the position in 2012 after failing to secure the 2022 World Cup for Australia, the only way this country's football looked to be heading was in the downward direction.

And I wonder how many people out there, when they heard that Gallop had been handed the top role, wondered if the FFA had made the right move.

Let's face it, the NRL was not in the best of shape after his 10 years in charge, which featured a succession of off-field indiscretions - the Melbourne Storm salary cap being the biggest of those - and some might have thought that football could head the same way.

Gallop did not leave the NRL with the best of references, with Australian Rugby League Commission John Grant claiming one of the reasons he was shown the door was that his style was too reactive.

But you have to hand it to the man; he has certainly not been reactive since being appointed by the FFA.

In fact, you could say that he has been positively proactive. First he has overseen the rise and rise of Western Sydney Wanderers, followed by the introduction of the National Premier League - a major boost to grassroots football.

But possibly his biggest legacy when he does eventually move on from his CEO position is the FFA Cup.

I suspect a number of people, including pundits and fans, were sceptical about the formation of this new competition, but you have to say that after its first season it has been a success.

There were a couple of teething problems as there always are with new ventures, but, on the whole, the concept is great and can only get bigger and better as the competition grows.

Last month he was able to wallow in the success of the Asian Cup on home soil.

The flow-on effect from the Socceroos' win should be enormous for football in this country, not least the fact Australia now gets to play in the Confederations Cup in Russia in 2017.

Gallop said this week he had no hesitation in extending his stay and was determined to continue his fight to make football the most popular sport in this country.

A possible $80 million-a-year TV rights is being mooted, something that would involve an expansion of the A-League to most likely 12 teams, with one of those probably being in Brisbane.

Gallop still has a long way to go, but if he continues the way he has started, who knows what he can achieve for the game.

Topics:  david gallop ffa nrl opinion phil dillon

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