Well, that candidacy didn't last long.

A little more than two weeks since Judith Griggs was nominated by South Australian Football Federation President, Sam Ciccarello, and Melbourne City's Deputy Chairman, Simon Pearce, she has withdrawn her candidacy for the FFA Board.

As we revealed earlier in the week, Griggs had left her options open also to be Chairman with insiders tipping she was the candidate most likely to gain cross-factional support and succeed in that role.

It is a pity. Griggs was a good candidate, a lawyer with significant high-level sports rights experience which would have been useful for the FFA Board or, indeed, a new A-League entity.

Griggs also managed to 'herd the cats' of the state federations, A-League clubs and the PFA to come to an agreement on the CRWG Report - and Board representative Chris Nikou too, until he was brought back into line by the rest of the FFA Board. Many thought it could never be done, but she met the deadline for a consensus report, however short of perfection that consensus report might be. 

It also would have been good to break the mould of those on the Board away from the same (male) establishment authoritarian figures, with a woman who was prepared to speak up and speak out on a broader range of issues relevant to football.

The co-founder of a UK company known as Sports Rights Management, Griggs wrote in her letter to FFA's Company Secretary overnight that she had “come to the view that [her] international commitments could conflict with the needs of the Board going forward.

Nonetheless, Griggs leaves the door open for future involvement saying that, despite her non-football background, she could assist with grassroots, youth protection and health. 

There are suggestions that Griggs was surprised when there was competition for Board positions, as there had been an attempt at reaching an agreed position amongst the parties of just four nominees.

Griggs' withdrawal leaves Illyria Chief Financial Officer, Linda Norquay, and retired longtime football employee, Heather Reid, as the only women in a field of 11. Considering the Constitution now has a stated aim of 40-40-20 representation, that more or less guarantees Norquay and Reid a spot (whether elected or appointed) to join Kelly Bayer Rosmarin.

It is an indictment on the game, and the 30 existing Congress members who nominated individuals for Board positions, that they could not identify a greater number of suitable women nominees for the Board. 

With Griggs' withdrawal, the remaining nominees for the Chairman are Joseph Carrozzi, Craig Foster, Chris Nikou, Remo Nogarotto and Mark Rendell.

Categories: News | People | Football Business

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