New FFA chief Gallop warns rivals

November 13, 2012
By Steve Jancetic

New Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop claims rival codes should be "really worried" about football's potential to dominate the national sporting landscape.

Speaking on his first day in the job, the former National Rugby League boss said the continued growth of the sport - in particular the success of the A-League - would have his old employers, along with the AFL and Australian Rugby Union, looking over their shoulders.

Spurred on by marquee names Alessandro del Piero and Emile Heskey, the A-League has experienced a spike in crowd numbers this season, something Gallop said he was keen to help grow.

"If football gets its act together, which we're seeing right now, then the other codes need to be really worried about it," Gallop told a media conference at the FFA's Sydney offices.

"The strengths are there to see over the last six weeks - that people love the game and the atmosphere at the grounds, both at the ground and if you're watching on television, is unique in Australian sport.

"It's part of the reason that Australians want football to do well in this country because they recognise that it's the world game."

Gallop said it had been his intention to commence his role once the new broadcast deal had been put in place, but that announcement has been delayed.

He was confident it would represent value for money for the FFA, despite it being dwarfed by the mega-deals recently announced by both the NRL and AFL.

While there were several references to his time in rugby league during his press conference, Gallop declined to comment on the NRL's protracted search for his successor, which has now stretched into a fifth month.