AAFC intends to focus on collaboration
Despite lack of support from smaller state federations, AAFC will focus on collaboration as a way to get things done28 November 2018 | Matthew Galea
Hamilton Olympic chairman Christo Patsan was hardly shocked when his state association, Northern New South Wales Football voted against the ascension of the Australian Association of Football Clubs (AAFC) to the FFA Congress.
The AAFC was eventually voted onto the Congress, though without the support of NNSW Football, Capital Football (ACT) and Football Queensland.
Patsan, who serves as AAFC secretary/treasurer over and above his Hamilton Olympic commitments, said his state association's vote was consistent with the views it had expressed about the AAFC since its inception.
"It was a continuation of disappointment, but no surprise," he said.
"We haven't had any feedback on why they voted like that, but all that was ever really said quite early on was the opinion that the AAFC has no status in the governance of football in Australia.
"Unfortunately with Northern NSW and now just a small handful of others, that line has continued, which is a real disappointment."
Patsan said that while the vote was no surprise, it was the continued lack of transparency which really frustrated football's stakeholders and was a continuation of trends seen at the previous FFA Extraordinary General Meeting where certain associations, including NNSW Football, voted against adopting the FIFA-appointed Congress Review Working Group's recommendations.
Football Today has previously approached Northern New South Wales, and indeed all voting members at the recent FFA AGM, to comment on the AGM and how they voted on a range of issues.
"All the other member federations and A-League clubs, which represents something like 87 or 88 per cent of football players in Australia, all voted for these reforms, but this small handful of states voted against it," Patsan said.
"They couldn't accept the referee's decision. It was Northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory which voted against it.
"Even in the AAFC, we didn't totally agree with everything the CRWG came up with and there other things we would have liked in there, but after a process like that, where everyone got to have their say in a very structured thorough process, you think 'okay, that's what the referee has come up with, let's go with it.'
"Once they voted against it there, there was no surprise they would vote against the AAFC becoming a congress member."
Patsan said that the AAFC hoped its new-found status as an FFA congress member would lead to a more cohesive and collaborative relationship with all member federations.
"Rabieh [Krayem, AAFC chairman] has already reached out to Northern NSW and the other associations and we would hope that something positive can come out of that because we are already seeing some real benefits from solid collaboration with the associations who do have a good relationship with us," he said.
"We've worked with the FFA to the point of having them review the NCIP and we will soon be having a national review of the NPL at our instigation, as well as the work we're doing on establishing a national second division.
"We're a young organisation but I think everyone is seeing that we can have a positive impact on the game if everyone is willing to collaborate."
Patsan said he felt privileged to be a part of the AAFC given its achievements since forming.
"I was thrilled when we were accepted into the Congress and I'm humbled to be a part of the group," he said.
"Given what clubs have been asked to do around the country – in terms of the requirements placed upon them by the national bodies to be a part of the FFA – without any voice, it's been really pleasing that the vast majority of people involved in the governance of football in Australia, and even the world with FIFA and the AFC, have been able to see that these clubs deserve a voice at the national level."
ffa congress, aafc, football governance, hamilton olympic fc