Australia FA boss Gallop to step down after governance changes
SYDNEY, July 11 (Reuters) - Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chief Executive David Gallop said on Thursday he will step down from the role on Dec.
31 as the country prepares to implement far-reaching changes to the professional game.
Gallop, who joined the FFA in 2012, said the recent decision to separate the professional leagues from the national body meant there had to be a reassessment of the organisation's leadership.
"With the NLWG (New League Working Group) recommendations to bring about fundamental changes to Australia's professional competitions ... the chief executive's role as it currently exists will be a very different, narrower role," Gallop said in a statement on Thursday.
"It makes sense for everyone to have time to openly determine what that new role and new leadership looks like."
The 53-year-old, a former chief executive of Australia's National Rugby League, had been contracted with the FFA until late 2020.
Gallop's tenure at FFA saw Australia win their first men's Asian Cup title in 2015, the introduction of new competitions and a strengthening of women's soccer at all levels.
He also secured a six-year broadcasting agreement worth A$346 million ($241.27 million), the largest in the organisation's history.
FFA and the professional clubs were locked in a two-year struggle that saw world governing body FIFA threaten Australia's membership if they did not accept governance changes.
FFA's Congress voted in favour of changes to the body's constitution at an Extraordinary General Meeting last October, which paved the way for the separation of the professional leagues from the FFA.
Gallop hoped the FFA and its professional clubs could continue to work together in the future.
"Football is the true world game and many Australians from all backgrounds want to see it grow bigger and stronger in the decades to come," he added.
"There are challenges given the expectations that are created by the global mirror that is held up to the game in this country's competitive sporting landscape, but enormous growth opportunities are available if the stakeholders are united."
($1 = 1.4341 Australian dollars) (Writing by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford)