Perth Glory CEO Peter Filopoulos says more football people are needed at the top to help drive the sport to the next level.
Filopoulos was General Manager of National Soccer League (NSL) powerhouse South Melbourne from 1992-1999 as part of the Ange Postecoglou era in which the club won two titles.
The administrator then headed South a few years before the league’s demise to pursue career opportunities in other sports such as AFL and Swimming.
His time in the NSL gives Filopoulos a unique persepective and he sees a similar situation which plagued the defunct competition to what is happing in the A-League now.
And he believes having football people at the FFA could help find solutions.
“Having being involved in the old NSL and now new football, I see the same symptomatic problems,” Filopoulos said speaking to FourFourTwo.
“The only difference is that if the A-League was a shopfront, the shopfront window is a lot glossier and a lot more polished.
“But behind the scenes, in the store room at the back, a lot of the same problems are symptomatic of what was going on back in 1999 when I left the sport the first time.
“One of my frustrations is that football for too long has looked outside of the sport for the people to try and help drive it forward.
“Not that I am being disparaging to the people that have been in the chair, but my point is of course you’re going to have people from outside the game come into the game, but the times of snubbing the people outside the game who are very capable of making contributions to the sport, need to be overcome.
“We need to start looking at some of these people and bring them into the fold to contribute in areas where they can.”
The heart at the impasse of the game's governance has been the A-League clubs wanting a greater share of the revenue from the $346m TV deal and Filopoulos empathises with the owners.
“They have been funding the A-League through some heavy losses every year and they’re saying they don’t want to sustain it anymore and I don’t blame them,” he said.
“Basically the club owners are just saying that we know that out of the $346m that comes into the game that 70-80% of that is attributable to A-League IP (Intellectual Property) and yet so little of it comes back into the A-League clubs.
“By default the owners are also saying that they’ve been funding every other part of the game – national teams and grass roots sure, there has to be an element of that.
“But they don’t want to endure that environment anymore where a lot of the revenue is siphoned off into other areas, whilst eight out 10 clubs are losing money.”
Filopoulos also believes creating a second division out of the member federation clubs would help see younger players develop and thrive.
“There are over 120 NPL clubs around Australia which is our second tier,” he said.
“The question I ask is, is that possibly spreading our best talent way too thin?
“By contracting that to one super national second division we can ensure that we are getting the absolute best talent outside of the A-League in one competition.
“Everyone is talking about expansion, national second division, promotion and relegation and we have to build towards that capability by setting an ambition and a time frame.
“At the moment that isn’t happening. We need to work hard as a community and as a group of people to try and drive that.”