Where are the former FFA CEOs now?

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Let us take a look into the three former chief executive officers of Football Federation Australia since the creation of the A-League, and before current boss James Jordan, who have all had their time in the sun and moved on.

Have they used FFA as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, or was it the peak as they have sunk back down to reality?

John O’Neill (2004-2006)

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As the man credited with getting the A-League underway, O’Neill left the FFA in 2006 to head back to the Australian Rugby Union – an organisation he used to work at, recapturing his role of chief executive.

His time in the Rugby came to a close six years later in 2012, where O’Neill was credited for improving the Wallabies from fifth to second in the world, and increasing participation to an all time high.

Nowadays, O’Neill sits on multiple boards, including Tabcorp, and has been inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of fame. He is also listed on a Celebrity speakers website, if you want to hear more about his successes in sports administration.

Ben Buckley (2006-2012)

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Buckley, a Tasmanian by birth, has also stayed in the sports administration business after stepping down from FFA in 2012.

His highest profile role presently is his work with North Melbourne in the AFL, where he is CEO. Buckley has been in charge at Ardern Street since late 2016, and unfortunately has not had the success he would have hoped for, with his Kangaroos likely to get the wooden spoon this year.

He was personally blamed for multiple strange decisions regarding communication with members, footy department choices, and the way in which the club has overseen a list rebuild in the last few years.

In better news for Buckely, he is also executive director for two smaller businesses, a leadership firm and a sports strategy one, as per his LinkedIn.

If he can get the house in order over at North Melbourne, it seems Buckley will be well and truly flying after leaving FFA.

David Gallop (2012-2019)

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The man with the longest serving record on this list, Gallop has only been out of the game for less than two years.

Many predicted Gallop would run for the vacant Cricket Australia CEO role, however he quashed those suggestions by joining the Cricket NSW board.

Perhaps seen as overqualified for the job, Gallop may want time to relax before considering his next move.

He is also strong in his belief that fans of Australian Sport deserve better, telling The Australian.

“Like nearly every business a deeper digital offering is what everyone is looking for in sport. The sports that truly give their fans a deep experience will set themselves up well in the future, while still maintaining the need for traditional revenue drivers to be strong.”

At only 55 years-old, one can expect Gallop is far from done yet, and will certainly rise to prominence once again for the right role.

Feature Image Credit: A-league 

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Seb Mottram
Sports nut studying Media comms and Marketing at Monash.

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