Towards the end of 2015, and following six months of turmoil after the FIFA arrests in May of that year, Transparency International (TI) published a table of good governance of each of FIFA’s member associations. TI nominated published financial reports, organisational charter, annual activity report and code of conduct/code of ethics as the bare minimum of what was required. As we reported here, TI gave FFA 50%, and found that 36 football associations did better than FFA, and 28 were equal with it. 

As part of the reforms passed by the FIFA Congress in 2016, it was agreed that member associations would also follow the same minimum measures of governance contained within the FIFA reforms which drew on the recommendations of TI, amongst others.

It’s pleasing to see that if the same measure was taken today, FFA would score 100% from TI - which is how it should be and what we would expect.

While FFA has always published its organisational charter by way of the Constitution, and its Code of Conduct, the combined impetus of the FIFA reforms and the $5 million promised by FIFA President Gianni Infantino have had their impact in terms of publishing FFA’s annual financial statements and producing an activity report.

But what about the nine state federations who hold 90% of the power within the current FFA Congress?

They are the members or owners of FFA. Last week, they twice acquiesced to the demands of the FFA Chairman and allowed FIFA and the AFC to leave the country without an agreed form of FFA Congress.

Are these federations exemplars of good governance? Do they meet the minimum standards of transparency and accountability set by TI and required as part of the FIFA reforms?

How would they fare on the TI league table? We take a look using the same measures and methodology as TI.

 Financial statementsOrganisational CharterAnnual Activity ReportCode of Conduct










Financial Statements

  • In the case of NSW, Northern NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, full financial statements are provided.
  • Queensland and South Australia provide a small amount of information and Tasmania provides a less than two-page written statement from its treasurer but we do not consider these are sufficiently accountable to their members as required by the FIFA reforms and as measured by TI.
  • Queensland has gone backwards in terms of information-sharing compared with the previous financial year. They inform their members that FQ made a surplus of $212,000 in FY2016, a decrease of $475,000 from the previous financial year, but they do not give the revenue or expense total. What we do know is that 58% of FQ's revenue is from its member clubs, 26% from player registration fees and 2% from sponsorship. On the assumption that FQ's revenue stayed steady on the previous financial year, that means a mere $137,400 of their revenue came from sponsorship. If that is so, it seems incredible (and more later). 

Organisational charter

  • If the Constitution is available online, we have marked this as being met. Some federations also have a strategic plan, mostly building on FFA's 20-year plan.

Annual Activity Report

  • All but Tasmania, the ACT and NT publish an annual activity report. Tasmania publishes a short written statement from their president, which it refers to as an activity report, but this is not considered to be sufficiently accountable to its members.

Code of Conduct/Code of Ethics

  • All federations except Northern NSW and Victoria has a link to the national Code of Conduct. Northern NSW has a Junior Code of Conduct, but no link to the national code; Victoria appears not to have a code of its own or a link to the national code.


The standard of the documents is highly variable. To some extent, that may be a function of available resources but as the state federations are the power base of the Australian football community, and as world football has a job to do in rebuilding trust in its governance, state federations should be giving priority to meeting minimum standards of good governance.

As a start, it would be helpful if minimum standards were developed on the content of charters, codes and reports, on their presentation and on where and how to present them on websites. This information shouldn't be difficult to find but in many instances, it is. 

The variation in financial statements, in particular, means it is difficult to make any useful comparisons. Each federation chooses to present different revenue and cost items. However, unlike FFA which no longer reports on revenue breakdown, the four federations that do provide audited financial statements give a revenue breakdown. 

It would also be helpful if the FFA website published a direct link to the relevant publications for each state federation, to assist the football community. 

Football Today has made every effort to search the websites up to 16 August 2017, but it is possible that some documents were missed. If this is the case, please contact ref@footballtoday.news and we will update this accordingly. 

Categories: Analysis | Local

football governance

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