Today’s media has followed-up our praise yesterday for Frank Lowy’s role in the rise of Australian football. And sure, Lowy and his henchman John O’Neill deserve a lot of the credit for the speed and skill they’ve transformed the sport – but most of the media has forgetten some important things. Take this woeful gush piece in today’s ‘Australian’:
Hail Soccer’s Savior’

First, Lowy and O’Neill would not be there and wouldn’t have had the platform for reform without the intervention of the Government and the Australian Sports Commission which established and drove the 2003 review of soccer by corporate governance specialist David Crawford.

Lowy was most cautious – reluctant, even – to become the saviour of the code and played hardball on getting his own personally chosen board. But more than that, he played hardball on finances and demanded and got a $15 million package from the Government to fund the reforms.

It’s disappointing that a credulous media this morning seem to believe that Lowy paid for the process out of his own pocket, or through sponsorship – he didn’t. It’s taxpayers dough in the form of grants and loans, and the Australian taxpayer should take a bow for allowing its hard earned to be spent on revitalising what was a basketcase of a sporting code.

Of course, money isn’t everything and Lowy deserves the credit for knowing how to spend it wisely.

But while Frank was basking in the glory of using other peoples’ money to buy success (with Kerry O’Brien, no less), where was the man whose work laid the foundations for our World Cup glory? The consultant who set the sport on the road to recovery, David Crawford, didn’t have his snout in the Telstra stadium trough VIP suites; he was in the general corporate bar watching the match with all the other be-suited punters.