In a rare joint statement, the AFL and NRL have announced their joint ‘Sports Executive of the Year Award’ goes to the Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) CEO David Gallop.
“No one man has done more to blunt the growth of soccer and cement the dominance of NRL and AFL in this country,” said ARL chairman John Grant.
“To be honest we don’t even have a joint ‘Sports Executive of the Year Award’, we just thought David deserved some recognition for what he’s done to soccer this year.
“I know a lot of it has been unintentional but that doesn’t change the fact that David has done more for the NRL since he left than when he was here.”
AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick said Gallop’s efforts have been ‘simply outstanding’ and the ‘work of a true genius’.
“I’ve often thought that putting a sleeper agent over at the soccer would be a good idea but it seems someone beat me to it,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.
“David has really pulled off one of the truly great terrible years in sports administration, it’s right up there with my own work during the peak of the Essendon Saga.
“We can’t thank him enough for going to war with the fans like he has; a level we never got to, even when we started scheduling Collingwood/Carlton games at about midnight on a Sunday night in the depths of winter.”
A spokesperson for the FFA said the award was further recognition of how well the FFA was going under David Gallop’s leadership.
“We are also the only Australian sport that has taken the bold step of making our chair position hereditary. That sort of thing always works well.”