Johnson, Cavallucci on FFA shortlist to replace Gallop as CEO


Rob Cavalucci headed up Brisbane City’s bid to join the A-League.Credit:AAP

Cavallucci, meanwhile, served in the cabinet of the Queensland government during Campbell Newman’s reign as Premier between 2012 and 2015 as the assistant minister for multicultural affairs.

Most familiar to A-League fans as the leader of Brisbane City’s expansion bid, Cavallucci is managing director of infrastructure and urban renewal at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Brisbane and also sits on the board of Football Queensland, as well as Brisbane Roar’s advisory board. He was previously a director of Football Brisbane.

Johnson and Cavallucci did not respond to requests for comment from the Herald on Sunday. Both are somewhat detached from the current political landscape of Australian football and appear to have their respective advantages – Johnson has deep football knowledge and tangible links to FIFA, AFC and CFG, arguably the sport’s three most important foreign stakeholders, while Cavallucci boasts significant commercial acumen and strong contacts in business and government.

The Herald has been unable to ascertain precisely how many other contenders are left in the running, with sources close to FFA going to ground ahead of a likely announcement by the end of this month – potentially as soon as the organisation’s AGM on November 21.

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Former Professional Footballers Australia chief and current World Players Association executive director Brendan Schwab has been sounded out and has significant support to become FFA’s new chief executive, but perhaps equal opposition from some segments of the game.

Peter Abraam, another former NSL player with more than two decades of sports business and financial experience, is believed to be in the mix. Abraam was once touted as a possibility to take over from Damien de Bohun as A-League head in 2016.

Others who have been interviewed include Football NSW chairman Anter Isaac and Football Victoria chief executive Peter Filopolous. Asked on Sunday if he was still involved in the process, Filopoulos said he was unable to comment.

Current PFA chief John Didulica withdrew from contention citing a conflict with his current role representing the players’ union in collective bargaining discussions with FFA, while Sydney FC CEO Danny Townsend declined an interview to stay with the reigning A-League champions.

Whoever gets the job will oversee a significantly different organisation to the one Gallop has helmed since 2012, not to mention receiving a vastly smaller pay packet. With the A-League’s move to independence due to be ratified imminently, FFA’s focus will switch to the running of national teams, development and grassroots programs, which will all require fresh sources of revenue to sustain at the required levels.

Former English Premier League boss Richard Scudamore, now a special advisor to the A-League clubs, is due to arrive in Australia this week and several stakeholders expect him to be used as a sort of battering ram in negotiations for the competition’s separation to ensure it occurs on the terms the clubs prefer.

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