World Cup bid success caps FFA CEO's year

He's been in the job for less than 12 months but FFA chief executive James Johnson has already seemingly cemented his long-term legacy to Australian football.

He's less than a year into his reign, but seven days in June may prove the long-term legacy of FFA chief executive James Johnson to Australian football.

Johnson took up the position in January on the back of an executive exodus at FFA's Sydney headquarters in 2019 which included previous CEO David Gallop as well as the sport's chief commercial officer Luke Bould and head of national performance Luke Casserly.

Within weeks of getting his feet under the desk, Johnson was spearheading a hastily reorganised Asian Olympic women's qualifying tournament due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.

As the virus turned into a global pandemic, Johnson faced a new challenge with the A-League thrown into hiatus and a breakdown in the FFA's relationship with host broadcaster Fox Sports.

Last Friday that stand-off was resolved with Fox agreeing a new 12-month deal to broadcast the A-League and W-League, allowing Johnson and his team to fully focus on securing the 2023 Women's World Cup for Australia and New Zealand.

On Friday, that moment was realised when the FIFA Council voted to award the 32-nation tournament to the trans-Tasman bid.

It's a success that ex-Matilda and FFA administrator Sarah Walsh believes wouldn't have happened without Johnson's leadership.

"Seriously, he's another level," Walsh told Fox Sports.

"He's got such a deep understanding of football.

"We had the right CEO at the time."


AAP