Former Grand Prix CEO to lead FFA reform

Vince Rugari

The former CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation is set to lead the working group tasked with resolving Football Federation Australia's governance gridlock.

AAP understands London-based lawyer Judith Griggs is in line to become the independent chair of the FFA congress review working group.

The eight-member panel has settled on Adelaide-born Griggs as their preferred candidate, with FIFA's review committee in the process of conducting an eligibility check.

It's expected the world governing body will approve her appointment in the near future.

Griggs appears a shrewd choice, given her level of acumen in the sports business industry and her knowledge of Australian and international sport.

Griggs has 25 years of experience in motor sport, having worked for Bernie Ecclestone at the Formula One headquarters in London for five years before she was appointed CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation when the race was moved to Melbourne.

Despite fierce protests from local residents in Albert Park, Griggs helped establish the Grand Prix as one of the most popular events on the F1calendar.

She then moved back to Europe to work for Allsports Management, the company responsible for most of F1's trackside advertising and other commercial interests.

Griggs now runs London-based consultancy Sports Rights Management, which she founded in 2014, and sits on the board of Tourism South Australia.

According to FIFA's terms of reference for the FFA working group, the independent chairperson must have "no official function within and no business relationship" with FFA or any of its members or stakeholders, and also have a strong track record in legal and governance issues, plus experience in mediation and negotiation.

Griggs ticks all of those boxes.

If installed as chairwoman, Griggs will have the power to take "all necessary steps" to ensure the working group sticks to the mandate laid down by FIFA, which includes discussions around an alternative governance model for the A-League and ways to improve representation for women.

She would also become the only woman formally involved in the reform process, with the other members of the working group - from the A-League clubs, state federations, PFA and FFA board - all male.

The panel has just two months to submit its proposal to FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation by the July 31 deadline.