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A new era for Australian Football, says Zelic

SBS Commentator Lucy Zelic says the decision yesterday to intervene in the governance of Football Federation Australia was a positive step forward.

A vote was handed down for constitutional changes, meaning A-League clubs, the players and the Women’s Association will have a much bigger say going forward.

It ends two-years of uncertainty under Steven Lowy, whose tenure as Chairman will end next month.

“We had hit a crossroads and it is underpinned by the people who are leading and governing the game in this country, and that is Steven Lowy, David Gallop, Greg O’Rourke and the Football federation Australia board,” Zelic told Halftime with James Willis. 

She says those involved in the game had no reason to think the game was heading in a positive direction in the past.

“We’ve seen a massive decline in A-League attendances and dealership in the last year alone, and we’ve not been galvanised or given any reason to feel positive about the future.

“What we are seeing is a new dawn and new era.”

Born and bred in Canberra, Zelic was involved in the city’s last bid for a men’s A-League team.

She believes wherever the next expansion comes from, it needs to be allocated to a region.

“Wherever it is we need to know they will have a football following.

“Although we have been pleased with Melbourne City they are not connected to a region which is why we are seeing fans not turning up to the games consistently and in volumes.

“That is why Western Sydney has worked.”

Zelic also acknowledged the retirement of Captain Mile Jedinak from International duties is a massive loss.

“When you’ve been capped 79 times for the Socceroos, scored 20 goals and led this team to Asian Cup glory in 2015 his story is quite remarkable in itself.

“They are some seriously big boots to fill.”