New Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou wants the fans onside. Picture: Getty Images
New Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou wants the fans onside. Picture: Getty Images

Fans come first: FFA seeking better relationship with fans

NEW Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou is seeking better engagement with disenchanted fans, with his board having plenty on their plate over coming months.

Nikou, Heather Reid, Joseph Carrozzi and Remo Nogarotto were all elected on to the board at Monday's FFA AGM in Sydney.

A lawyer by profession, Victorian Nikou has held a considerable number of positions in the game after playing in a local competition.

He held posts at Football Federation Victoria, Melbourne Victory and the 2015 Asian Cup organising committee before joining the FFA board.

Some fans, especially among the active supporter group, have expressed disgruntlement with the way the FFA runs the game.

Nikou recognised the importance of improving relationships with supporters and got an insight into their mindsets after chairing the FFA review into the fan-banning process.

"It was an important education in that I went out to see the active fans, I went out to see the CEOs, the police, the stadium operators, all the various components and got firsthand what's important to them," Nikou said.

"So the fans are a critical part for us going forward, we need to engage better.

'But I think I've got a pretty good understanding of what's important to people."

Nikou said A-League expansion was probably the board's first priority and he would like to lock in the two new teams in time for next season's competition, but the new board members would need to get a detailed briefings on each of the six remaining bidders.

Three people are to be co-opted on to the board, with Nikou hoping that will happen before the end of this year.

He said it would be a case of identifying what the skill set gaps were on the board and he didn't rule out considering some of Monday's six unsuccessful candidates.

Fans' use of flares has been a flashpoint for Football Federation Australia. Picture: Getty
Fans' use of flares has been a flashpoint for Football Federation Australia. Picture: Getty

Among those who missed out was former Labor senator Stephen Conroy.

Reid, who is the new deputy chair, received the most first round votes ahead of Carrozzi and Nikou.

"I think we're in pretty good shape but there's no doubt however that we have a lot of work to do," Reid said.

"There's a lot of weight sitting on our shoulders and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck into that hard work that lays ahead."

News Corp Australia

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