Football Federation Australia is not the only organisation which has struggled to sell its ambitious Whole Of Football Plan (WOFP) to the game’s stakeholders. Tasmanian club Strahan United, recently promoted to the Tasmanian Northern Championship, has issued a lengthy response to Football Federation Tasmania’s own WOFP, highlighting concerns with several key points.
“Strahan United Football Club would like to express a grave sense of frustration regarding the recently released Whole of Football Plan (WOFP) by Football Federation Tasmania (FFT) which outlines the governing body’s ambitions for the sport in the coming 20 years.
“While the plan has many meritable and welcome goals, we are of the strong opinion that Football Federation Tasmania has totally disregarded the ambitions of clubs to improve their standing and operations.”
Club President Jacinta Queensly states in the release that she is baffled by FFT’s refusal to introduce promotion & relegation into Tasmania’s top-flight competition, saying that, “While promotion and relegation to and from the T-League may be many years off, it is quite surprising that FFT has not even considered it as an aspiration to aim for in the next 20 years.”
Strahan United’s history of raising some of Tasmania’s most talented footballers is another sore point for Queensly, who said it was, ‘concerning that FFT has not addressed the issue of adequate compensation for players being on-sold to T-League franchises or to other NPL Clubs. The incentive to develop players is simply not there anymore.’
Most concerning to the outspoken club boss is the plan by FFT to centralise Tasmanian football’s governance structure. “The opinion put forward that FFT aims to have an even more centralised system of delivery is very concerning – FFT is not the font of all football knowledge nor is there any singular ‘right’ way of administering, playing or coaching the sport,” she said.
“To infer that is the case is quite disingenuous, while going along for this ride is potentially disastrous for the future of the sport and we feel it is our moral obligation to speak out.”
Speaking to FMF, Queensly said FFT has created a ‘Football ecosystem that is totally out of sync with the world’s football ecosystem which we, whether we like it or not, are a part of.’
“This has created a vacuum where clubs at all levels of Tasmanian football don’t have a true unity of purpose as the WOFP states and our sport is more disjointed than ever before. The notion that we can separate ourselves from the rest of the world with solutions that are applicable to local sports such as Australian Rules indicate a poor understanding of how football functions.”
Queenlsy is hopeful of a positive reaction from FFT in the coming weeks.
“There’s always a concern with these types of statements that they can drag on for too long, so much so that only a small percentage of fans will ever read it.
“But we feel our statement offers a rational account of our feelings towards FFT and we look forward to a positive dialogue with them.”