Published On: Sun, Dec 21st, 2014

Chairman of Football Federation Australia to be Succeeded by Son

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With about a year remaining in Frank Lowy’s tenure as chairman of Football Federation Australia, there is increasing debate over whether he will or should be succeeded by his youngest son, the Sydney Morning Herald said on December 19.

Frank Lowy is routinely circumspect when the subject is raised, acutely aware of the charges of nepotism. It’s why he has publicly and officially distanced himself from the process, although it’s impossible not to sense the fatherly pride.

There are powerful forces at work nudging Steven Lowy towards the role, the Herald said.

In August last year the FFA appointed global recruitment firm Egon Zehnder to conduct a search for new directors. The solution is likely to be close to home.

Last week, in the cover story in the Australian Financial Review Magazine, Steven Lowy broke cover by making some rare public comments about the chances of succeeding his father as the new boss of football.

“We’ll have to see if and when the opportunity occurs, ” he said. “I’d have to be desired for the role, I’d have to look at it from a personal perspective, a family perspective, a professional perspective.

“I do have a passion for the game and if and when the opportunity is there I suppose I would consider it. But I’m not considering it at the moment.”

Sooner rather than later he’ll become the new head of the Westfield empire, which makes his combination of corporate power and football passion just as persuasive as that of his father, the Herald said.

Increasingly, the feeling is that the role is his if he wants it. “It’s a fait accompli, ” is how one insider described it. The only issue seems to be whether there’ll be any bumps along the way.

At times there have been criticisms of Lowy’s autocratic style, and his decisions. But they have never amounted to more than the occasional murmurs of discontent.

Old-timers remain scarred by years of in-fighting. Newcomers simply aren’t interested in the game’s politics. Ask the average fan to name more than one board member and they’d struggle. Truth is, they don’t care, according to the Herald.

If Steven Lowy becomes the next chairman, as seems almost certain, there’s unlikely to be much of an outcry.

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