Football Federation Australia have today announced Chief Executive Officer David Gallop will step aside from the role on 31 December 2019.

Mr Gallop took up the role in 2012 after having previously spearheaded the NRL, and this announcement comes as the A-League prepares to go independent under the New Leagues Working Group (NLWG).

FFA Chairman Chris Nikou confirmed that he has accepted Gallop’s resignation and thanked him for his “strong and distinguished leadership” of the federation through what he admitted have been “a difficult few years” in a written statement.

Originally met with optimism, Gallop’s appointment has been marred by controversies including perceived failures of the A-League and Socceroos in recent seasons, as well as the Alen Stajcic sacking.

The 53-year-old says “it has been an honour” to represent football in Australia and admitted that with the NLWG set to takeover, the role of CEO would be changed and require fresh leadership.

“It makes sense for everyone to have time to openly determine what that new role and new leadership looks like,” he said.

Mr Gallop spoke of his satisfaction at having overseen “so many important moments” during his time, which include the introduction of the FFA Cup and the Socceroos lifting the 2015 Asian Cup on home soil, as well as the record media rights deal with Fox Sports.

Thanking Mr Nikou and the board for their support during his time, Mr Gallop stressed that there is still work to be done until his New Year’s Eve farewell, most notably the country’s bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

“It would be fantastic on so many levels if Australia could secure such a huge football tournament and world event,” he said.

With five months now for the FFA to elect a successor, the board will turn their attention to finding a suitable candidate to take to the new role at the beginning of next year.

Nick Hughes