Gary Collis, the commissioner of the Clive Palmer-funded Football Australia public hearings into the code, has completed his nationwide nine-city fact-finding mission and will soon start working on his final report.
In a statement released by FA, Collis described the series of hearings as ”informative but startling”.
He said one of the most prominent topics in submissions to the inquiry was the cost of junior football and the opposition of parents to the Football Federation Australia model of juniors being used to fund senior teams.
“There is a strong feeling that FFA and the state federations view junior football across the country as a cash cow or a well of money that they can dip into when they need to,” Collis said. “To many parents there is certainly no sense of tangible value in return for what they have to pay in order for their children to play football.
“A sense of disconnect exists between juniors and the state governing bodies and FFA. That disconnect also extends to the A-League according to what I’ve been told in submissions.
“FFA’s mantra of community engagement being critical to success should apply to them also because there are a lot of people out there who don’t feel part of the ‘football family’.
“This is highlighted by the fact that I’ve heard the same terms and phrases used frequently in many submissions including ‘undemocratic’, ‘lack of transparency’ and ‘no accountability’.
“The last few weeks have been disturbing in terms of what we’ve heard from the football community and their perception of their relationship with the state federations and FFA.”
Collis also found disillusionment with the failed World Cup bid.
“One gentlemen’s submission resonated with me in particular,” said Collis. “He commented that the near $50 million spent by FFA trying to host the World Cup would have been better spent trying to actually win the World Cup by investing it into junior development.”
The FA said Collis’ final report will be delivered by the end of May.