FFA postpones EGM as chief David Gallop offers timetable for talks on second-tier league

Embattled FFA chairman Steven Lowy and his board have postponed the FFA's scheduled Emergency General Meeting in a bid to buy more time to shore up a peace deal which will placate the warring factions in Australian soccer and stave off FIFA intervention into the game's governance.

The FFA leadership had hoped to secure sufficient votes at the EGM, set for Wednesday, to push through their proposals for a revised Congress.

But dissenters - the A-League clubs and the players union, the PFA - have argued the Lowy-led board's plans were insufficiently representative of the interests of the game and have been implacably opposed to their implementation.

The rejection by Football Federation Victoria of Lowy's plea for support after he travelled from Sydney to lobby them on Monday night meant that the FFA board was unlikely to get the 75 per cent majority required at the EGM to push on with their program.

???Now they will look to find an acceptable formula to end the increasingly bitter conflict within the next four weeks.

"Following requests received from Members of Football Federation Australia's Congress, the FFA Board has agreed to postpone the Extraordinary General Meeting scheduled for 1 November, to enable further consultation between all stakeholders - the Member Federations, Hyundai A-League clubs, Professional Footballers Australia and FFA," the body said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

"The EGM will be rescheduled for 27 November ....the Board is sending formal notification of the postponement to the Members, FIFA and AFC."

Meanwhile, just days after appearing lukewarm about proposals to establish a national second tier in Australia, FFA chief David Gallop has offered leaders of the Association of Australian Football Clubs a timetable to discuss their proposals.

Gallop is prepared to enter talks sooner rather than later over an initiative which, if implemented, could change the game here and have wide-ranging impacts on player development, club finances, mainstream media coverage and broadcast rights.

"We responded to their media release on Friday, and they have now written to us. We have responded to that by telling them we are happy to meet, and we would be happy to do so within the next month or as soon as is convenient for all parties," Gallop said on Monday.

He was at pains to point out that the latest response to the AAFC was not a "U-turn" or backflip, stressing that the initial statement put out last Friday had indicated interest in the idea of a second tier, but spelled out that A-League expansion and fiscal responsibility was his first priority.

He has told the organisation that a second-tier competition is "a wonderful objective for the game and its stakeholders. It has been the subject of significant work within our office and will form an important part of our discussions on a new operating model for the A-League."

"We are keen to commence a dialogue but it will inevitably require each of us to listen and challenge each other's ideas. As a next step this would include your financial modelling and other supporting documentation," Gallop told the organisation in a letter.

Gallop is, however, concerned that a second tier could be a drain on the finances of A-League clubs, increasing their average losing margin of $1 million-$1.5 million a season to $2 million.

"For A-League clubs it is possible that it could mean a dilution of their current funding grants from FFA increasing the reliance on their owners' investment due to the increase in their annual losses."

This story FFA postpones EGM as chief David Gallop offers timetable for talks on second-tier league first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.