David Gallop Stepping Down Due to Changes

Gallop announced his retirement at the end of 2019, earlier this week. After serving for seven years in the position of chief executive for the Football Federation of Australia, he now feels that the diminished role which the chief executive will have after planned changes in the structure is his sign of resigning.

Clubs to Take Control

The Australian professional football leagues charged the New League Working Group to take the current structure under consideration and to suggest changes to improve the system. The group returned with many suggestions including that clubs should be in more control of the more massive competitions. They suggested that an organization should be brought to life with representatives from every club. This organization will be in control of the A-League as well as the women’s and youth leagues. This would entail a complete shift away from the current FFA control and bring almost total separation between the associations and the national football body. These changes will bring a fundamental shift in Gallop’s position. A much narrower role will have to be fulfilled as the one that he has been doing for the past seven years. Gallop also mentioned that this would bring challenges on how competitions on a professional level will be managed. He suggested that a clear and definite idea about how they indicate the leadership should look like and what the role would entail should be brought to the table.

FFA and Gallop Feeling Pressure

Earlier this year both Gallop and the FFA decided to fire Alen Stajcic from the position as coach for the Australian women’s team. This was due to Stajcic’s expression of unhappiness regarding the welfare and working situations of players. He made these based on feedback from interviews and confidential surveys to determine the team’s culture and environment. Later on, an apology had to be offered to Stajcic for this unprecedented move from authorities, who failed to provide any evidence as grounds for their decision.

Gallop’s Career

During his time at the FFA, Gallop was part of many football highlights for the Aussies. These included their men’s team bringing back the Asian Cup in 2015. Gallop worked at improving the women’s league and towards bringing in added competitions for them. He is also behind the A$346 million broadcasting agreement which was signed for six years and is still considered to be the greatest ever in the history of the organization. His time there also saw some hardships in the Australian camp with FIFA threatening to end the Australian membership when they were in a locked-down position due to struggles of accepting the changes in governance. Gallop’s contract was due to stop at the end of 2020. His early retirement is yet another setback for the professional world of football in Australia. Gallop is convinced though that the national love that all Australians have for the game and the desire to see it grow will, however, carry them forward.