Football Supporters Australia formed
Football supporters have organised and want to be part of Australia's future football governance08 November 2017 | FT Editor
Football supporters have become the latest group to organise with the establishment of a new association to represnt and advocate for Australian football fans.
Known as Football Supporters Australia, and borrowing from #NewFIFANow's tagline of 'reclaim the game', the new body is aimed at giving fans representation in decision-making in Australian football.
The interim Chairman is Pablo Bateson, who now lives in Bangkok and who writes extensively for Football Today. Pablo is recognised as one of the most travelled Socceroos supporters. The other co-founders are Andrew Andreotti and Steven Forbes, both of Melbourne.
According to Pablo, football supporters have not had a voice in the direction of the game in Australia and deserve to.
“With the current uncertainty around the future of football governance nationally, we think it’s time to make our voice not only heard but to be counted as an integral part of football governance.”
Pablo said that fans groups in countries such as Germany and England have shown immediate benefits to the local FAs, and he wants Australia to do the same.
Football Supporters Australia (FSA) plans to present the views and facilitate the contributions of football supporters for the national teams, clubs of the A-League and W-League, NPL and also grass roots.
The group were prompted to act now in light of the possible establishment by FIFA of a 'Normalisation Committee' to bring about reform to governance of the game in Australia.
“It is essential that fans have a seat at table under any new arrangements for the national governance and administration of our game,” said Bateson.
“Voting rights for the peak fans groups are enshrined by the football associations of Germany and England, and Australia should follow these democratic examples”.
An interim board including Bateson, Andreotti and Forbes has been established for the registered association, with plans to hold a national roundtable of supporters and groups from around the country will be called for early in 2018 ahead of the first AGM of the new organisation.
The roundtable will serve as the first official meeting of the association and include the election of office bearers, adoption of a constitution, and formalisation of membership arrangements.
“We are going to be as inclusive as possible so that football fans across Australia have ownership of the FSA by helping to shape its strategic future,” said co-founder, Andrew Andreotti.
Australian fans of all levels are encouraged to register their interest and support at the website https://footballsupporters.org.au/
The FSA says they are committed to working in close collaboration with FFA, member federations, professional clubs and the Australian Association of Football Clubs (AAFC) to ensure fans have voice on the direction of the game.
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