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Australian football is fragile: Lowy

NZN 5/10/2016 Emma Kemp

FFA chairman Steven Lowy has warned Australian football must be treated as fragile, branding its success so delicate it could come crashing down at any moment.

There is good reason for the game's top brass to feel optimistic two days out from the start of the 12th A-League season.

Tim Cahill leads a cohort of Socceroos enticed home and Saturday's Sydney derby at ANZ Stadium will likely break the national crowd-attendance record for a club match.

While acknowledging the leaps and bounds already made, Lowy said he was taking nothing for granted.

"We should all look at the game as being fragile ... if you think like that, it makes you incredibly focused," Lowy told a crowd of 600 at Sydney FC's season launch.

"I think with all the success that's been achieved, you should think about it as being fragile, because it could go off the precipice quickly.

Lowy said balancing short- and long-term goals was crucial, as the game vied for commercial sustainability and an increase in fans.

The 53-year-old, who took the reins late last year from father Frank Lowy, referenced A-League expansion as a key target and agreed with Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou's demand for up to six new teams.

But in line with chief executive David Gallop's comments a day earlier, he declined to provide a specific time frame, instead championing a disciplined approach despite increasing impatience from the marketplace.

"The FFA board is bringing a long-term focus to a strategy and execution and financing plan, one that is sustainable," Lowy said.

"But at the same time, you've got to be entrepreneurial and push the limits (in the) early days as well.

"One of those things we are focused on is growing the league. We need more than 10 teams.

"Ange's book came out and he's calling for 15 or 16 teams. I think he's right.

"But it's a matter of time to get there in a way that we don't have some of the stumblings of the past, that we build sustainable plans going forward.

"Those teams are going to butt up against existing teams and existing clubs won't like that.

"But we have to look past that, not be influenced by the politics of that, but by the ultimate growth of the game itself."

Lowy played down reports that recent meetings with FIFA and AFC representatives were held to address concerns over FFA's governance.

He said it was "healthy to open yourself up to be looked at", adding that the governing body was still working through details of how it would satisfy its agreement to include a broader representation of stakeholders in its congress.

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