South Melbourne FC welcomes Football Federation Australia opening up the dialogue about Australia’s football future with the ‘Whole of Football Plan’ released on 5 May 2015.
However, the current FFA Plan spells the possible end for aspirational football in this country.
The proposed Plan currently provides no obvious club pathway that allows any club that aspires to develop and improve their process, systems and connection with their communities – or more importantly succeeds on the field – to be promoted as occurs throughout the football world.
We are also disappointed that the FFA does not detail plans for further development of a second tier of Australian football, to facilitate the intended expansion of the Hyundai A-League and ultimately the implementation of a viable promotion and relegation system.
Promotion and relegation would assist the improvement of the quality of our top division and provide a breeding ground for players, coaches, officials and aspiring clubs.
More generally, a key component of all successful ‘plans’ is ‘implementation detail.’ We are keen to review that detail when it gets released.
The FFA has certainly made great in-roads for our code’s development (for example football broadcasting and the launching of the Westfield FFA Cup), however we are mindful that strategic errors have also been made in the past.
As a key stakeholder of football in Australia, we will be contacting the FFA to understand and obtain greater detail about their planning processes and to ensure the long term viability and growth of our club.
Leo Athanasakis, SMFC President
Tom Kalas, SMFC Director