A morning in the life of David Gallop

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David Gallop, depending on who you ask, is either one of the greatest things to happen to modern Australian football, or the greatest thing to happen to modern Australian football.

But what of the man behind the administration machine? Presenting: a day in the life of David Gallop, CEO of the FFA.

David Gallop woke up just before the sun, looked out the window and remembered he was David Gallop, sports administrator. Given what he’d already achieved in the seven seconds he’d been awake, he felt like he was within his rights to rest on his laurels – the FFA Cup, the Western Sydney Wanderers, the rebirth of the Socceroos and remembering his name just before – but he could tell he was in for a productive day and didn’t want to waste it.

He was meant to be approving the fixture schedule for the new A-League season but got distracted when he overheard Kochie explaining that the governing body for Australian rugby union was imploding, and accidentally gave a tick to the Melbourne Derby being held on the same night, and at the same time, as the first leg of the Asian Champions League final. He would’ve changed it, but having two games on concurrently meant he’d only have to watch one, and besides, he’d already ticked it off.

Opening the newspaper, he flipped to the sports pages so he could take in the latest FIFA rankings but his eye fell on an article about the unsolvable Israel-Palestine conflict.

‘Why don’t they just both agree to a two-state solution?’ he wondered, partitioning the land with Israel on one side and Palestine on the other? Or perhaps a roster, where both sides have access to the land for three days a week each, alternating on Sundays? He shook his head, and tried to work out why he isn’t administrating at a diplomatic level. He’d have sorted the whole thing out years ago.

He found the back pages and 95 places down the rankings, wedged between Rwanda and Haiti, the Socceroos. Being at this low point must constitute a low point, he thought – and it is a low point indeed – but he’s dealt with professional sportsmen who think hotel hallways and campground toilets are one and the same, or have little regard for on whom their urine lands or, smeared in peanut butter, get caught in compromising positions with household pets, so he figured that boosting a ranking that most of the country doesn’t care about wouldn’t be too difficult.

Within minutes he’d worked out a solution and scheduled four international friendlies for the Socceroos. The first was against Germany at Craven Cottage, and for a bit of variation, the second was against Germany at Craven Cottage.

‘They’re two matches that Australia will probably lose,’ he thought, ‘but at least they’ll be good practice for the next time we lose to Germany.’

For the final two games, he opened up an atlas and pointed blindly at a map of the Middle East, then decided that the Socceroos will take on Qatar and Jordan – at their respective stadiums in their respective countries, if possible. Reflecting on a job well done, he turned his attentions to the Asian Cup that’s not happening at Fulham’s home ground or in the Middle East, and thought back to that one time the Australian national team played in Australia.

He settled on a scaled-back promotion of the 2015 Asian Cup – let the football do the talking, he decided, rather than a considered ad campaign specifically designed to get bums on seats. He wanted to keep it simple. Give them football, he thought, and they will come. Give them Oman and Kuwait in Canberra, he thought, and they will come.

Standing in front of the mirror, he straightened his tie and practised enthusiasm.

“Go Australia,” he said, minimising any tonal fluctuation so as not to give away that he’s made of flesh and bone.

“Go you Socceroos.”

After repeating the phrase a few hundred times, he reached his level of professional indifference and went out into the world to hold everything together.

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