P4A-Leaderboard

Following on from yesterday's article on The Who, What and Why of FFA Board nominations, we have scored the twelve Board nominees against the qualifications matrix of the Congress Review Working Group (CRWG), resulting in Australian football's very first Football Board Scorecard. 

The Scorecard is provided as a means of assessing the objective claims of the nominees based on the CRWG's own qualifications matrix. We do not endorse any candidate or group of candidates at this stage. 

The Scorecard is not a new idea. More than two years ago, arising from my commitment to, and interest and activism in, transparency and accountaiblity in world football, I examined the manifestos of the FIFA Presidential candidates for Sporting Intelligence. As part of that work, I gave the (then) five candidates a Scorecard for the measures they championed publicly against the then proposed FIFA reforms. 

With the first election for FFA Board positions this century (and a large part of last century also!), it is appropriate to apply a similar level of evidence-based attention to the nominees for the FFA Board. 

FFA Board Director criteria

The CRWG qualifications matrix for a FFA Board Director is one aspect of the process that is transparent and facilitates a degree of accountability. It allows us to make our own assessment based on what we do know of the candidates, and what is the best mix of individuals and their skills to serve football.

There are three parts to the criteria. 

Part one includes four qualifying criteria:

  • Commitment to a strong governance regime for Australian football.
  • Commitment to developing policies and strategies for football generally in Australia.
  • Not involved in activities that could be perceived, or actually, interfere in the ability to act in the best interests of FFA and Australian football.
  • Free of any potential conflict of interest that could interfere in the ability to act in the best interests of FFA and Australian football.

In part two, nominated candidates “must possess all” of these three criteria:

  • Demonstrated leadership at senior level.
  • Demonstrated commitment to strong governance principles and an understanding and appreciation of the duties of Directors.
  • Commitment to ethical behaviour.

Finally, part three of the matrix requires that candidates must possess at least one of the following:

  1. Legal qualification
  2. Accounting qualification
  3. Knowledge of elite football as a player, coach or official at NPL level and above
  4. “Exceptional” governance and/or administrative experience in football or another professional sport
  5. Business experience, MBA qualification or senior management experience
  6. Technology experience or qualification
  7. Marketing/communications experience at a senior level
  8. Government relations or international experience at a senior level.*

Scorecard

We take it as a given that each of the nominees meet the general criteria in parts one and two. We are aware that one nominated candidate was knocked-out by the Nominations Committee for not meeting at least one of these seven criteria.

We have, therefore, assessed the remaining nominees against the CRWG’s qualifications matrix outlined above (1-8) to provide a scorecard as a guide to who might be best qualified for these important roles on the FFA Board. 

As the Board should be balanced in its skills and experience, we have also included the two existing Board members, Crispin Murray and Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, who seem to be staying on the Board for at least another 12 months.

It is worth noting also that, once elected, the Board may appoint up to three additional people.

FFA Board Scorecard

 12345678 *Score (from 8)
Morry Bailesyesnonoyesyesnonono3
Joseph Carrozziyesyesnoyesyesnonono4
Stephen Conroynonononoyesyes noyes3
Craig Fosteryes**noyesyesyesnonoyes5
Judith Griggsyesnonoyesyesnoyesno4
Danny Moulisyesnoyesyesyesnonono4
Chris Nikouyesnonoyesyesnonono3
Remo Nogarottonononoyesyesnoyesyes4
Linda Norquaynoyesnonoyesnonono2
Heather Reidnonoyesyesyesnoyesno4
Mark Rendellnononoyesyesnonono2
Mark Shieldnonoyesnoyesyesnono3
Crispin Murraynonononoyesnonono1
Kelly Bayer Rosmarinnonononoyesyesnono2

On this scorecard, the nominee who meets the most number of criteria, is Foster with a score of 5 (or 62.5%).

A group of five satisfy four criteria (50%):  Carrozzi, Griggs, Moulis, Nogarotto and Reid.

A further three candidates meet three (37.5%) of the qualifications criteria: Bailes, Conroy, Nikou and Shield, while three (including existing Board members) meet two criteria: Norquay, Rendell and Rosmarin. The other existing Board member, Murray, meets one criterion.

The number of criteria met by a particular candidate is not necessarily a guide to the 'best' candidate, as candidates are only required to fulfill "at least one" of the qualification criteria only. However, it is a guide to the 'most qualified' candidate as set by the CRWG criteria.

It is also worth noting that the FFA Constitution makes provision for up to three Directors to be appointed by the elected Board, which allows any skill gaps resulting from the election process to be covered. 

What is likely to happen?

On the basis of the cross-factional support of the nominators, that was outlined here yesterday, the quartet of Conroy, Griggs, Nogarotto and Norquay (main picture) can be favoured to be elected if all state member federations and all A-League clubs vote the same way.

Of this group, both Griggs and Nogarotto have indicated that they will run for chair. Contrary to what we understand the paperwork suggests, Nogarotto has since suggested via Twitter that this is not the case. 

Griggs is also said to be uncertain about her interest in the chairmanship  

Griggs is hardly known at all within the Australian or football community, but all the parties involved in the CRWG process speak highly of her Mother Theresa qualities in pushing the warring factions to a consensus report (other than the FFA Board disagreeing to it). The Board elects the Chairman, and it may be tempting to elect a woman for the first time, even though Griggs currently lives in London.

However, Nikou and Carrozzi are also favoured, especially if one of these four fall over for one reason or another, and depending on how the lobbying progresses in the period to the annual general meeting.

Nikou was nominated by Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City. As well as being on the FFA Board currently, he is a former Melbourne Victory Board member and Asian Cup Board member. Likewise, Carrozzi has strong A-League links. He holds a number of Board positions, including the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry with Nogarotto. He was nominated by Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers, and is said to be Sydney FC's auditor although we have not confirmed this. 

If the A-League clubs all support Nikou and Carrozzi, they would need to convince the majority of the state member federations also to shift their vote, or slighly fewer member federations and the PFA. Both Nikou and Carrozzi have also nominated for the Chairman's role. 

The four candidates nominated solely by the state member federations are also in a good position if the state member federations vote as a bloc.

They need only pick up the PFA vote (7%) or five of the Women's Council votes (5%) to reach the prescribed majority. Of these, Mark Rendell has nominated as chairman.

However, if the nominators are any guide, it is impossible for Foster or Reid to get through even though Foster meets the most number of criteria set by the CRWG in its qualifications matrix. 

So far the only candidate who has issued a public 'manifesto' or policy statement is Foster. It's no surprise to us that the first to do so is one of the candidates steeped in football experience, knowledge, culture and passion. You can see it here at believeinourgame.com.

Foster and Reid would need the support of a majority of state member federations and Women's Council members, and that would require the 30 voters, presumably guided by their respective Boards at least in the case of the state member federations, to exercise a degree of independence when it comes to the ballot box. Foster has also nominated as chairman.

The AAFC's community forum in Melbourne on 12 November should be fascinating with Carrozzi, Foster, Moulis, Nikou, Nogarotto and Shield in attendance, and the ultimate numbers' man, Conroy, yet to make up his mind.

Conroy has a pre-existing commitment to the Andrew Bolt television program. Other candidates not attending have also indicated they have other commitments. The AAFC's forum will be broadcast live on FNR Radio and webcast via their Facebook page and will use the hashtag #FFAvotes.

Clockwise from top left: Bailes, Reid, Nikou, Foster, Moulis, Rendell, Carrozzi, Shield


*  We define government and international relations experience as having worked in government at a senior level (senior executive service or above), or participated in, or led, overseas delegations or missions on behalf of government or a government agency. Such experience is a qualitatively different from responsibility for international experience or government relations as part of normal private sector employment (which we assume to be part of criterion 5) or in a sporting environment (which is included in either criterion 3 or 4). I make this judgement as someone who has done all three. 

** Foster's bio circulated by PFA indicated that he will complete his Law degree in 2019.

Note:  This was updated on 7 November to reflect Heather Reid's playing experience as an ACT Premier League player (prior to NPLW) (criterion 3) and marketing/communications duties as CEO and sports marketing/sponsorship contract employment roles (criterion 7). 


Categories: Analysis | People | Football Business

ffa board, ffa governance, football governance

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