Football Federation Australia has been forced back to the negotiating table after caving into demands to postpone Wednesday’s extraordinary general meeting.
FFA had planned to push through a new congress model at the EGM but has rescheduled the meeting for Nov. 27, after discovering it did not have enough votes to pass the motion.
The new EGM date is just three days before the deadline imposed by FIFA, which has threatened to sack the FFA board and install a normalisation committee to run the sport if governance changes are not made by then.
It leaves Steven Lowy with a tenuous grip on power, with the FFA chairman doomed unless he cedes ground or finds a way to garner enough support for his preferred congress model.
Either of those outcomes seems highly unlikely as things stand.
To enact constitutional change, the FFA board requires consensus from 75 percent of the 10 current members — the nine state federations, who all have one vote apiece, plus the A-League clubs, who wield one vote.
However, only seven states are in FFA’s corner.
The other two states — Football NSW and Football Federation Victoria — and the A-League clubs are in opposition.
FNSW, FFV, the PFA and the A-League clubs all have all written to FFA this week to ask them to scrap the EGM and return to negotiations.
The PFA — which is not currently an FFA member but will have a seat at the table when the congress expands — had also requested permission to sit in on the EGM.
Lowy flew to Melbourne on Monday evening in an attempt to convince FFV chairman Kimon Taliadoros, the decisive voter.
But hours before the scheduled meeting, Taliadoros sent Lowy a letter making it clear he would not be persuaded to side with FFA.
A former player in the NSL and one of the founders of the PFA, Taliadoros also urged FFA to engage with the Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) to consolidate a roadmap for a national second division.
Taliadoros was contacted by AAP on Tuesday but said he was unable to make any comment.
FFA is pushing to expand the membership to what has widely become known as the “9-4-1-1” model — a structure that would give nine votes to the state federations, four to the A-League clubs, one to the PFA and one to a women’s football representative.
But that has been met with fierce opposition from the A-League clubs, who want five votes — as part of a “9-5-1-1” model — and have the backing of the PFA.
Five votes, rather than four, would ensure the nine state federations no longer have have majority power to elect members to FFA’s board.
FFA’s current congress of 10 members is the smallest electorate of any nation recognised by FIFA.