FFA rebrands as 'Football Australia,' forecasts $7.3 million loss

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Football Federation Australia insists its rebranding won't cost a cent as it prepares for a loss of $7.3 million for the 2020-21 financial year.

FFA will now be known as Football Australia (FA), with the name change voted in at Wednesday's Annual General Meeting.

FA announced it had lost $1.814 million in the 2019-20 financial year, with the loss of crowds due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a significant reduction in the A-League broadcast deal stripping the governing body of millions of dollars.

A year earlier, FA recorded a net surplus of $435,000.

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As of June 30, FA had total assets of $44.319 million and total liabilities of $39.788 million, equating to net assets of $4.531 million.

Their net assets were $6.436 million a year earlier.

Worryingly, the biggest financial hits are still to come.

FA has budgeted for a drop in revenue from $106.4 million in 2019-20 down to $82.7 million in 2020-21.

A big proportion of that drop in revenue is a result of the renegotiated broadcast deal.

FA's broadcast deals netted $50.8 million in cash last financial year, but that is budgeted to fall to $29.7 million in 2020-21.

Wednesday's rebranding raised eyebrows given the difficulties in the current financial market and the big losses that lie ahead.

But FA chief executive James Johnson said the change wouldn't come at a financial cost.

"There's no expenses at all," Johnson said. "We already own all the domain names, company names. So it's no cost to the organisation whatsoever."

Billionaire Clive Palmer founded Football Australia in 2012 as a rebel organisation to soccer's governing body after he was stripped of the Gold Coast United A-League licence.

Johnson said the fact Palmer used the Football Australia name previously had been taken into consideration.

"It was a side thought," Johnson said. "But the bigger point is it [the name] allows us to position ourselves as moving forward. It also allows us to align better with the rest of the code.

"So if you look across the code and see organisations like Football NSW, Football Queensland, it shows through a name change a more united football."

The "unbundling" of the A-League -- which will see clubs take control of the league -- is set to be finalised before Christmas, while the current broadcast deal expires in June.

Under the unbundling agreement, FA will only receive a 10 percent share of the next broadcast deal.

In other developments, the FFA Cup will be redesigned and renamed, with the winner to have a chance of earning a spot in the Asian Champions League via a playoff.

In order to generate more cash, FA will apply for more government funding, will look to lure in more sponsorship agreements and will introduce a new transfer system that could be in place by as early as 2021.

"If we create a domestic transfer system, we'll create what we call contractual stability, which means ultimately clubs will retain players for longer periods," Johnson said.

"That will help us unlock more of that big [transfer] pie that exists globally."