Once again, the FFA has us all asking “why?”
When it comes to the sacking of former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic by FFA, the question that keeps coming up is, "why?"11 February 2019 | Matthew Galea
Why did the FFA seem to think it could sack the head coach of the country's highest performing football team with minimal scrutiny?
Why was one of the surveys the FFA relied so heavily upon arriving at its decision accessible and answerable by all and sundry online and open until February 9?
Why was Our Watch involved?
Why was Stajcic not provided due process to answer the allegations against him?
Why, if the decision was made on the back of such an overwhelmingly negative response to Stajcic and his Matildas set-up in the survey have so many Matildas spoken about their disappointment and shock that he was removed?
Why, if the details of this survey were confidential, do some seem to know and understand why Stajcic was sacked?
Why did the FFA take 10 days to reach out to Stajcic after its decision was made?
I could go on.
The question of “Why?” is not a new one for the FFA.
In recent years, the footballing public has asked “Why?” of many things the FFA boards – old and new – and the management those boards have installed have made decisions about.
Each time, drawing those answers out has been long, painful and frankly embarrassing for the FFA.
From the whys and hows of the FFA's disastrous bid for the 2022 World Cup, right through to the whys of resistance to a new FFA Congress structure.
A new board provided some hope that things would change.
Yet it seems with each passing day that we are doomed to more of the same.
More of the same murkiness that clouds every major decision the board makes.
More of the same lack of clarity behind the processes and functions of the powers that be in Australian football.
More of the same bullshit.
Upon election, FFA chairman Chris Nikou stated he wanted the focus to return to football.
For the most part, football people have done their job.
The last few rounds of the A-League have thrown up some truly fantastic games and they have been more than matched by the hugely talented players in the W-League.
Two thrilling semi-finals on the weekend shared the spotlight with some outstanding football on the men's side of the game.
This week, football websites and journalists at all the major media outlets in Australia should be waxing lyrical about the quality of play on the park this weekend, dissecting Tony Popovic's supremely impressive Perth Glory and working out how Kevin Muscat's Melbourne Victory can rise to the challenge.
Column inches should be filled with praise for Perth's Samantha Kerr, who once again proved her own brilliance with a magical performance at AAMI Park in the semi-finals.
Football made the front page of The Australian today, but not for any of the great reasons it should have.
It made the front page because – in the absence of any sense of authority or control over the situation from the FFA – the ousted Stajcic finally spoke out to share his side of the story.
And his side of the story is every bit as damning as one could have expected.
In his own words, Stajcic did not want to speak simply for the sake of getting one back at the FFA, or any of his former players or staff.
He spoke because in the absence of any sense of any transparency about the decision the narrative surrounding it has taken an insurmountable toll on Stajcic and his family.
In a country where coverage of our great game is already stretched so thin and pushed into the back pages of sports sections and the end of television news bulletins, this is a story which simply cannot be pushed aside.
It's too important to be brushed under the carpet and it's too 'newsworthy' to be anywhere than the top of sports pages.
For the FFA, it's another unmitigated PR disaster and one it achieved because it once again believed it could act without transparency and without answering the all-important question of “why?”
Will the new FFA board learn this lesson? Or will they fall for the same old trappings of thinking they are above the rest of us and that they don't need to operate transparently?
The truth always comes out, it's just a matter of how painful it has to be for the FFA.
That leaves just one last question.
Why does the FFA Board keep doing this to itself - and to us?
ffa board, ffa management, alen stajcic