FFA’s financial statements for the financial year ending 30 June 2017 show 2% revenue growth roughly in line with inflation to $105.6 million, an overall reduction in expenditure of $357,000, and a reduction in the deficit by $52,000 to $335,000. Last year’s deficit was $387,000.

The FFA financial result follows a recent report showing that Melbourne Victory made a rare financial loss of $137,948 in 2017 also.

FFA does not provide a breakdown of its revenue so it is not possible to determine where the modest growth has come from, nor the sources of revenue. The last time a revenue breakdown was given in FFA’s financial accounts (in 2010), approximately half was derived from sponsorship and broadcasting combined, another 12% from gate receipts from FFA-hosted matches, and 7% from the national registration fee paid by all registered players.

What we do know about revenue is that:

(a)       FIFA’s annual grant to its member associations increased to USD$5 million from the previous level of USD$1.25 million from 2017, and

(b)       increased funding from the new broadcast deal was due to start flowing in 2017 and is shown on an accrued basis.  

Comparison in World Cup cycle

In football, financial results tend not to be compared year-on-year, but every fourth year in line with the World Cup cycle. This is particularly relevant for a country like Australia which has taken part in three successive World Cup tournaments. Having said that, 2005 is less relevant as we were coming off a low base and had not yet qualified for the 2006 tournament. 

In the eight years since 2009, revenue growth (17.4%) has kept pace with inflation, when adjusted for the one-off government grant for the World Cup Bid of $7.9 million in that year. 

The overall financial outcome has declined from a $3.4 million surplus in 2009 and a $785,000 surplus in 2013, to a $335,000 deficit this year.

Surplus (Deficit)$574,700$3.4m$785,000($335,000)
Total Employee & Team Benefitn/a$24.6m$32.3m$26.6m
Key Management Personneln/a$4.8m$5.6m$4.7m


As noted above, there has been some belt tightening within FFA in the past year with eight cost centres recording a reduction. Total costs reduced by $357,000 to $105.9 million.

The key areas of reductions are:

  • ‘Travel’ reduced from $12.4 million in 2016 to $10.8 million in 2017 (-13%) to be at the same level at this stage in the previous World Cup cycle in 2013.
  • ‘Event hosting’ reduced from $6 million in 2016 to $3.2 million in 2017 (-47%); $3.8 million in 2013
  • ‘Broadcasting’ reduced from $5.2 million in 2016 to $3.4 million in 2017 (-37%); $2.3 million in 2013.

Key management personnel remuneration

On the face of it, expenditure on key management personnel fell $364,000 to $4.7 million in the twelve months to end June 2017. This is similar to 2009 levels and significantly less than the 2013 level of $5.6 million which included Western Sydney Wanderers and the Asian Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC).

However, it was reported that last year's figure of $5.1 million included a bonus of “more than $1 million” for the CEO of the Asian Cup LOC, Michael Brown, which means the net outcome for expenditure on key management personnel is actually $700,000 more in 2017 than in 2016.

The average salary across the ten full-time and one part-time senior management team members is approximately $450,000.

Cost increases

The modest reduction in key management costs is more than offset by the increase in the cost of ‘Professionals and Consultants’ of $1.2 million (56%) since last year to $3.3 million. This is an increase of 71% on 2013 levels.

The largest increase in cash terms in expenses is ‘Employee and Team Benefits’ of $26.6 million. This is an increase from the previous financial year of 13% but a reduction compared with 2013 of 18%. However, this cost centre in 2013 also included Western Sydney Wanderers and the Asian Cup LOC.

Of the $26.6 million, the Socceroos fees for 12 matches in the financial year are estimated to be in the vicinity of $2.7 million, or around 10% of the total.  

Other line items that increased in 2017 are:

  • Grants and Distributions +0.9% (+49% on 2013)
  • Marketing and Media +18% (+23% on 2013)
  • Sponsorship and Licensing +18% (+12% on 2013)
  • Communication and Technology +9% (+14% on 2013)

Financial transactions involving Board members

FFA is required to report on financial transactions involving Board members.

Steven Lowy

In terms of sponsorship, the Westfield offshoot, S Centre contributed $2.5 million again in 2017. This annual amount increased by two-thirds in the previous year to take account of the inclusion of the FFA Cup in their sponsorship portfolio, as well as the greater value of the Matildas and the W-League.

In the 12 years since the 2006 financial year, S Centre/Westfield has contributed $16 million to FFA or an average of approximately $1.3 million annually.

Simon Hepsworth

Caltex’s naming rights sponsorship of the Socceroos brought-in $1.8 million in 2017, compared with $1.9 million the previous year.

Moya Dodd

The longest-serving Board member, Moya Dodd, received a fee of $113,636 in 2017 for further, ‘consultancy services’. Dodd has now received a total of more than $560,000 from FFA in the past four financial years. 

In the period Dodd was a member of the FIFA Executive Committee (2013-2016), she also received an annual payment of USD$300,000 from FIFA as well as USD$500/day allowance and first-class travel and accommodation while on FIFA business.


As we noted in our look at the 2016 financial statements, the information provided by FFA to its (current) ten members meets the minimum requirement under Australian corporate regulations. It is nowhere near ‘best practice’ compared with other international football associations, and it is inadequate information for a national sporting organisation which continues to derive at least some of its revenue from the grassroots football community.

It is also inadequate in light of the claims that the A-League needs the rest of FFA’s operations to survive. On the current level of reporting, it is impossible for anyone to have any knowledge of, and therefore confidence in, this claim.

However, as long as FFA’s membership continues to be controlled by the mostly silent and faceless men who run the nine state federations, this situation is not likely to change – which, presumably, is exactly why FFA would like it to stay that way for as long as possible.

Categories: Analysis | Football Business

ffa financials, ffa congress

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