• Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy (Getty Images)
A-League club chiefs have vented their fury at Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy, with one indignant owner describing his continued presence at the helm of Australian football as 'toxic'.
By
Dave Lewis

11 Aug 2017 - 7:59 AM  UPDATED 11 Aug 2017 - 7:59 AM

As FIFA prepare to oust the FFA board after Lowy twice in the space of 48 hours torpedoed an agreement between the clubs, the state federations and the PFA over the make up of a democratized new congress, club bosses are on the warpath over what they perceive as an act of treachery.

They claim that FFA over-reached the terms of their remit as an administrator by scuppering a deal which would have seen the clubs gain five seats on a 15-strong congress, with state bodies retaining nine and the PFA owning one.

Those numbers would have given the clubs a powerful voice in electing future FFA boards, effectively leaving Lowy as a lame duck leader stripped of his power base.

One owner, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Lowy should now be forced out by FIFA 'the sooner the better', as the world ruling body's three-person delegation arrived back in Zurich on Friday minus a consensus from their crisis intervention mission to Australia.

FIFA leaves Australia without completing deal
The future of Australian football now rests in the hands of FIFA after accusations FFA chairman Steven Lowy twice derailed political consensus over an extraordinary 24 hours.

FFA have until November to broker a pact with their dissident tribes or be replaced by a so-called normalising committee.

But the owners believe Lowy's position is all but untenable either way, with one declaring: "Frankly the leadership at FFA has become toxic.

"The sooner the chairman goes, the better. It all seems to be about his personal brand and his determination not to lose control.

"We had an agreement in which all parties were happy, including FIFA, only for the administrator to sabotage it by calling fresh meetings with the state federations, who then reneged on the deal."

Lowy's late-night talks foil peace deal
A late-night intervention by Steven Lowy has stymied a political breakthrough that may have prevented FIFA taking over Australian soccer.

According to sources Lowy's composure cracked in his two hastily convened meetings with the state federations and voices were raised in a heated debate which at the eleventh hour derailed the pact between the federations, the clubs and the PFA.

The A-League club boss added: "It will difficult to work with him in any way going forward ... what has happened is gut wrenching really."

Striving to rationalise Lowy's intervention, the owner said: "He appears to be in a desperate situation and may feel he has nothing to lose at this point.

"He is just fighting it out now, doing all he can to stay in control."

A-League clubs meet with football stakeholders
On the same day the world's governing body FIFA met with FFA, representatives from each of the A-League clubs held meetings with the player's union, state member federations and NPL clubs

In a statement released on Thursday night after two days of across the board discussions between the game's stakeholders, Lowy said: "A wide range of options has been robustly discussed.

"Everyone, including the FFA board, A-League club owners, member federations and the PFA have shown willingness to move from their original positions and this has been noted by the FIFA/AFC delegation.

"FFA and the FIFA/AFC delegation have agreed not to make public comment on the details of these proposals while discussions continue.

"FFA is hopeful that an agreement can be reached to enable the necessary procedural changes to achieve an expanded Congress by the end of November.”

What is FIFA up to in Australia? The FFA crisis unpacked
Australian football is at its biggest crossroads since the 2003 Crawford Report. A glance at what's going on in FFA's governance and why FIFA have stepped in.