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Comparing Crawford Report before and after Relative to Australian Soccer

Comparing Crawford Report before and after Relative to Australian Soccer

� Examine the Crawford reports findings and describe how and why it considered that the administration
of soccer needed to be changed.
� Complete a table to compare before Crawford with after Crawford in terms of the similarities and
differences in the sport and its administrative structure.
� Analyse how the organisational culture of the sport is different now compared with before the Crawford
report was implemented?
� Describe and justify whether post Crawford is an improvement on pre Crawford outcomes and

Comparing Crawford Report before and after Relative to Australian Soccer

The Crawford report gets its name from its author, David Crawford who was the chair of a series
of investigations into the administration of professional sports in Australia. The report was
formulated against a backdrop of improper management of soccer in the country leading to the
poor performance of the country on international competitions such as the FIFA world cup and
also the Confederations cup (Allison and Monnington, 2002). The then governing body of
Soccer in the country had been accused of massive corruption and incompetence through
different media outlets. With respect to football in Australia, the 2003 Independent sports panel
findings will be analyzed with special attention being given to the manner in which this
influenced the state of soccer in the country (Independent Soccer Review Committee and
Crawford, 2003).
The reason why a commission was reconvened to formulate this report was that football in
Australia at the time was in a state of disarray, leading to the demand for urgent action so as to

restore the sport to its previous glory or a level similar to that. Many of the challenges that were
found to be plaguing soccer in Australia were thought to have their origins in the lowest levels of
the sport (Ferkins et al, 2005).
A major challenge that was pointed out was the fact that facilities were seriously lacking in the
grass root levels (Moore, 2004). These facilities include the soccer pitches, stadia and also
training equipment which facilitate the growth of the sport through sharpening the skills of
armature players (Brabzon, 2004).
Another challenge that was facing soccer in Australia was the disconnect that existed between
the clubs and schools. What this meant was that there was no clear-cut path that was in place to
facilitate the transition of players in the school leagues into professional and semi-professional
clubs (Simmons, 2006). This meant that the major league was missing out on an intake of quality
players due to the disconnect (Dabscheck, 2004).
Another challenge that was facing Australia’s soccer is the fact that promotional efforts largely
marginalized the indigenous communities thus making the sport exclusive rather than inclusive
as is the trend worldwide (Jupp et al, 2007).
Another challenge that Australia’s football was facing was the fact that the existent club football
categories were operating as separate entities rather than conducting their activities under a
unified banner. This is to say that women’s football, Senior men and also the junior men
categories were operating independently rather than being integrated so as to synergize the
resources that are available for the sport nationally (Dabscheck, 2003; Hess, 2000).
Last but not least, there was an urgent need for reforms in Australia’s soccer because of the
significant decline in participation from the junior and senior sections of the population. This

effectively meant that the participation of Australians in soccer was on its deathbed and this,
more than anything else would have surely led to the end of the sport in the country (Hay, 2006).
The inquiry sought to rectify these challenges through the implementation of several objectives
that it set. The first of these was to make sure the country’s football continued to excel
Secondly, the sport of football was to be made part of the government’s multidisciplinary
approach towards better healthcare for it citizens through its preventive healthcare campaign.
This is because like other sports, soccer is highly demanding and this would automatically
translate into it being part of many a fitness plan.
Another objective was to ensure that the pathways used by school leavers who were involved in
soccer are strengthened so as to ensure they have an easy time getting into club football.
The fourth objective that was captured in the Crawford Report was to ensure that soccer as well
as other sports is prioritized in the same manner that the country does for science, technology
and research. The vehicle that will be used for this is sports science.
The report also recommended that the relevant authorities had to put in extra effort towards
sourcing for a wide range of funding options so as to ensure the sport receives the relevant
resources necessary for its survival at the different levels soccer is played in Australia. This
would require a lot of creativity as well as the empowering of the Australia Sports Foundation so
as to enhance its effectiveness in improving the state of the sport in Australia (Lock et al, 2008).

Before Crawford After Crawford
The management body, Soccer Australia was in
debt to the tune of 2.5 million dollars
Soccer Australia was Undercapitalized
There was widespread mismanagement due to
improper leadership taking center stage in the
soccer sector.
The then governing body was unable to
effectively support the national soccer team,
leading it to borrow funds from member
The National league for soccer was also
undergoing financial difficulties (Cohen, 2008).
The main focus of soccer Australia was
international soccer, it used the few resources at
its disposal to get some national teams to
participate in international events while no
attention whatsoever was given to community
soccer (Stewart, 2007).
Relationship between Soccer Australia and its
member associations was not productive in any

A new soccer body, Soccer Association Limited
was constituted to replace the ailing Soccer
Australia (Perrine, 2001). This was seen as an
important task in performing a radical surgery on
Australia’s management of soccer.
The management of the newly formed Soccer
Association Limited conducted their business
with much more accountability and this was seen
in the establishment of the nature of the financial
challenges (Barton, 2006).
Deliberate steps were being taken to ensure that
Australia’s soccer was on the right track and this
was seen through the audits and the total
restructure of the management of the sport at
national level.
The focus of key stakeholders in Australia’s
soccer shifted towards the development of the
grassroots through community leagues that were
in dire need of funding and also professional
The new management of Australia’s soccer was

Those in charge of the sport were against the idea
of bringing about reforms in the sector. They
essentially let it continue in its state of disrepair.
The management of soccer was largely one-sided
and tyrannical leading to the disenfranchisement
of many at the lower levels (Skinner, 2007; Tatz,

welcoming to the idea of reforming the manner in
which the sport was being administrated since
they acknowledged the challenges it was facing.
Democracy became a widespread feature of the
administration of soccer since it became much
more inclusive of groups that had been previously
excluded from participation and decision making
(Rosso, 2007).

Organizational Structure of Australia’s Football at present compared to the situation prior to the
formulation of the Crawford Report.
The organizational structure of Australian football today has a greater emphasis on horizontal
relationships between the players rather than vertical relationships. This is to say that there is a
lot more peer to peer coordination of Australia’s football compared to the past when the
management focused only on soccer at the highest levels.
Another difference is the fact that information and contributions now flow in a bottom-up
fashion rather than the past when it was an ineffective version of top-down management. This is
due to the renewed emphasis on the importance of the grass root level of soccer as this is more
Another change in Australian football is the fact that it is more open today with more emphasis
being laid on the accountability of its leadership than before when whoever was in charge did as
they pleased so to say (Halabi, 2007).

Justification for Post-Crawford Improvements

From the above analysis, it is evident that the post-Crawford scenario in Australia’s football is a
profound improvement of the previous situation. This is because soccer is once again on an
upward trend growth and development-wise. The reintroduction of effective leadership and all-
inclusive coordination of the sport taking into account the contribution of key players at all levels
of the sport. In the previous scenario Australian soccer was clearly on its death bed and it would
most likely have ended up being one of the sports played by a select few while the international
community worked towards the inclusiveness of the sport in their respective countries. Money is
one of the most important resources in the management of a social venture such as soccer. If the
previous management were allowed to have their day, they would have further plunged the
sector into chaos due to the lack of adequate resources for basic operations.

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