Chris Nikou says expansion is the new board's top priority.
Chris Nikou says expansion is the new board's top priority.

New FFA chairman reveals expansion stance

NEW FFA chairman Chris Nikou says A-League expansion will be the 'number one priority' of the new board, after he was appointed as Steven Lowy's successor.

Nikou fielded questions on Monday night as he was unveiled as the new boss, and was immediately pressed about the ongoing process.

"Expansion is very very important, it's probably the number one priority the new board will need to address," Nikou said.

"What I'd like to see happen is that the new board members get given a proper and detailed briefing of the merits of each of the bids and as soon as we can get through that process it will be the first order of business for the new board.

"I'd certainly like to see it for the following A-League season if we can. It won't be through lack of trying, but we will do a measured analysis of the bids and make a decision that we think is in the best interests of football in Australia. If we can do it for next year it will certainly be my wish that we do it."

Expansion had been postponed amid the board overhaul, but it appears the issue will remain at the forefront of priorities going forward. However, Nikou openly admitted that the list of things for his new-look board to deal with was long.

FFA CEO David Gallop (left) and former chairman Steven Lowy at the AGM on MOnday.
FFA CEO David Gallop (left) and former chairman Steven Lowy at the AGM on MOnday.

"The list is long, let's be frank about it," he said.

"What we need to do is prioritise the ones we think are the most critical and start to chip away; we can't be everything to everybody."

In beginning his address, the new chairman labelled the election day as a 'line in the sand' moment for football in Australia.

"Together the board is united, lot of challenges we know that but the fundamentals of our sport are very very good, we should not forget that," Nikou said.

"And we need to build, today's the day we put a line in the sand and we go forward so I'm very pleased to be able to talk to you energised about the prospects going forward. And together I think we can do some very very positive things."

"My own personal view is the less we talk about the administrators the better, let's get back to football. That willingness to hear the concerns of the various members was important because it helps shape my thinking of what we need to do.

"A lot has been said and done, it's important now that we put the line in the sand and we focus on what we need to do and there's a variety of issues. We need to galvanise the football community share with them what our vision is and align the various components of our infrastructure and sport so we can deliver on the outcomes that people want.

Heather Reid was named as deputy chairperson, as she alongside Remo Nogarotto and Joseph Carrozzi were also elected as directors on the new board.

The FFA constitution suggests the board must have a 40-40-20 mandate, and there are three directorships still to be appointed. Nikou suggested new members would be elected to fill gaps in the current board and could be expected by Christmas.