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Steven Lowy laments 'blurring between members' as Australian football votes for change

Tone-deaf until the end, there was a simple message chairman Steven Lowy missed as he listed the achievements of his outgoing FFA regime.

Lowy, who replaced his father as FFA chairman three years ago, has been derided by opponents as out-of-touch but could always point to his family's record of service to the sport.

But too many people within Australian football felt distant from decision-making. Left out of the loop.

That's why state federations voted on Tuesday to reject what Steven Lowy called the "independent governance" model for FFA, and open it up to new voices.

Because where Lowy saw independence, the football community saw a fiefdom. That was made clear within one statement on Tuesday.

"You either believe in the principle of independent stakeholders, or you believe in a different model," he said.

"Where there's a blurring going on between members ... it's now going to be acting more like a parliament."

Lowy meant that as a cautionary tale.

But say what you like about parliaments, at least they have dissenting voices. And they're elected.

Lowy said a cloud had formed over the achievements of his family but he still felt "immense pride."

"My father was asked to take over by then prime minister John Howard with a blank piece of paper and very little money but a lot of business acumen," he said.

"He took the game from where it was - which was broke, in disarray -- to a game that created serious foundations and built on those.

"It built credibility for government, both state and federal.

"It built credibility with sponsors ... with broadcasters.

"Our revenues are at record revenues.

"We've made a major deal, a six-year $350 million deal with Fox.

"It built credibility in the AFC and in FIFA. It got us out of Oceania.

"It created the resources to back the Socceroos, clearly an outstanding generation, to get us qualified for a World Cup.

"While the foundations were built, they were very fragile. I think the fragility has really played out now."

It remains to be seen which of Australia's deposed Prime Ministers Lowy will mimic on his way out of the top job.

Will it be the dignified exit of Julia Gillard, a bitterly divisive PM but almost silent since her departure?

Or will the Lowy forces choose the Tony Abbott path; to coalesce and regroup ahead of the forthcoming AGM where they might seek new positions?

It has been reported that Lowy-aligned directors will walk, taking their commercial backing with them.

Asked the question, Lowy was unclear.

"I have no idea what my family's future role is," he said.

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