With no obvious resolution to football’s pay dispute in sight, a visiting American businessman has outlined what he believes is the ‘perfect’ administrative system which would break football’s contract deadlock and lead the game into a golden era of growth.

Harvey Pullman, a former Fortune 500 CEO who spent the last 19 years working as a consultant with the Estonian Football Association, told students at the University of Melbourne today, his system, which he dubbed the ‘should-based system’, ‘boils down the complexity of modern sports to one question: “What should be?”

“Today, sports administrations focus on the ‘How’. Markets, revenue streams, broadcast rights, overhead, which are nothing more than what I call ‘Shouldblocks’. Your Football Federation Australia is an administration obsessed with the How, stuck behind Shouldblocks of its own creation.

Pullman says sports administrations such as Football Federation Australia are stuck behind ‘Shouldblocks’.

“If it stripped away the How, if it embraced the Should, then imagine the possibilities? No more worrying about Shouldblocks. No more excuses like, ‘We don’t have the money,’ or, ‘The market will not support this.’ By adopting the should-based system, nothing is impossible … Because It Just Should Be.”

The should-based system seeks to reduce all governance down to one question: "What should be?"
The should-based system seeks to reduce all governance down to one question: “What should be?”

Pullman said his system would work well in Australia as there is a sizable group of supporters who would be a key driving force behind a rollout.

“I’ll show you a great tweet I saw today from FIFPro Vice President Brendan Schwab, a tremendous champion for the rights of football players across the globe. He said, ‘If all clubs were only 75% of Melbourne Victory FC, there is an additional $40 million.’


“In my opinion, Brendan was being conservative. Why stop at 75% when every club should be 100% as large, as viable, as the biggest club in the A-League? It doesn’t matter why you think it cannot be, Because It Just Should Be!

“What disappointed me was the response Brendan received from others. Shouldblocks like “not all markets are like Melbourne” and “you cannot base an entire league on one club.” This is How-based logic at its most destructive.

“The response, with the should-based system in place, would have been, “Yes, Because It Just Should Be!” then everyone just does it.”

Football Federation Australia declined to comment, but an insider told FMF that CEO David Gallop, when shown video footage of Pullman’s presentation, said “Well. Shit. Alright then.” after which he called Professional Footballers Australia CEO Adam Vivian to begin what is assumed to be should-based negotiations.