Chris Nikou Elected As FFA Chairman
Chris Nikou has made expansion of the A-League his first order of business after his ascension to lead Australian football into the post-Lowy era.
Nikou was elected as Football Federation Australia chairman on Monday, with Heather Reid chosen as deputy chair.
The pair were joined by Joseph Carrozzi and Remo Nogarotto as new FFA directors during a protracted voting process at the annual general meeting.
Nikou said he hoped the elections drew a line in the sand after the tumultuous and disunited leadership of Steven Lowy, who was unable to muster the same respect in the role as his predecessor father, Sir Frank.
"It's time for everyone to get in the boat and row together," he said.
"We need to galvanise the football community and share with them what our vision is," he said, adding expansion of the flagship league was his "number one priority".
"I'd like to see it for the following A-League season if we can."
The AGM utilised a complicated balloting process, sharing voting rights between federations, professional clubs, the players' union and the women's council.
Reid (91 percent), Carrozzi (76 percent) and Nikou (68 percent) cleared the 60 percent hurdle for election at the first time of asking, with Nogarotto and former Senator Stephen Conroy eventually squaring off for a spot.
Conroy withdrew before the final ballot, which delivered Nogarotto - a former Soccer Australia chairman and Northern Spirit and Newcastle Jets boss - the final elected position on the board.
At the conclusion of the AGM, the new directors met and elected Nikou and Reid into the leadership positions.
Reid, a long-time Capital Football chief said she was "overwhelmed with the level of support" after leading the initial vote and had her "sleeves rolled up and ready for hard work ahead".
Her election represents something of a vindication for Professional Footballers Australia, given its other nominee Craig Foster walked away from his candidacy.
Foster withdrew on Friday after sensing he didn't have the necessary support to prevail despite a popular campaign with football fans.
A poll conducted by the Association of Australian Football Clubs had Foster the clear public choice to be elected, gathering 90 per cent support to join the board and attracting 82 per cent favouritism to lead it.
Nikou had just three per cent support which can be attributed to his lack of public profile.
The unsuccessful candidates in Monday's votes were Morry Bailes, Daniel Moulis, Linda Norquay and Mark Shield, with Mark Rendell joining Foster in withdrawing earlier on Monday.
The new board is the first without a Lowy family member at the helm since FFA was founded in the ashes of Soccer Australia 15 years ago.
In other decisions of the groundbreaking AGM, the Association of Australian Football Clubs and Football Coaches Australia were admitted as 'qualifying' members of FFA, legitimising their positions in the eyes of the governing body.