“I was re-elected unopposed as chairman and we got straight down to the business of where we are going next,” Nikou said. “There is great appetite to continue the work. We have done some hard yards this year, and it’s not just because of the FFA and the management team but because of our members wanting reform.”
Nikou retained his position despite conjecture around the handling of the Cambodian sex scandal involving four Olyroos, which led two out-going board members to step down in protest more than one month before their terms were due to end. As revealed by the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday evening, Kelly Bayer Rosemarin and Crispin Murray resigned last month after not being told of the incident before an investigation began. Nikou was coy on the reason for their premature exit from the board.
“I think you will have to ask them,” Nikou said. “From my perspective, Kelly and Crispin, I served for four years with them, they are great board directors, they served during a challenging period for the FFA and I wish them well.”
Nikou defended his decision to launch an independent investigation into the incident overseen by private firm Core Integrity before notifying all board members.
“What was the imperative was that we went through a thorough process of investigation to ascertain the facts and put them before the board, and that’s exactly what happened,” Nikou said. “There was a detailed independent investigation put to the board, who had ample opportunity to consider that.”
The FFA board included two new members elected as directors, Robyn Fitzroy and Carla Wilshire. Fitzroy runs a governance consultancy firm and Wilshire is the chief executive of the Migration Council Australia.
Outgoing CEO David Gallop gave a farewell speech at Thursday’s AGM calling time on his seven-year tenure at the FFA and listed seven pieces of advice for others. Among those were the recruitment and retention of excellent people, developing structures that give stakeholders real influence and not expecting everything one does to be popular.
Nikou says the FFA were in the final stages of appointing Gallop’s replacement and could announce the new chief executive by the end of next week.
“We are at the pointy end of the decision-making process, and I would anticipate that we would be able to make an announcement shortly,” he said. “I don’t
want to hard wire it in, but potentially by the end of the month or shortly thereafter.”
Dominic Bossi is a football reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.