Southern Expansion has expressed disappointment that Football Federation Australia (FFA) voted against its own metrics and data and has ignored our compelling bid to bring A-League to the football fanatics of the Southern region. Chief Executive Officer Chris Gardiner today issued a public thanks to the bid’s financial backers, BHL; our Chair and founding Steering…
The Hon. Morris Iemma is the Chairman of Southern Expansion. He forged an illustrious 17-year career in State politics, holding several key portfolios including Treasurer, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Public Works, Minister for Citizenship and notably serving as NSW Premier from 2005-2008.
He has held a lifelong passion for sport that has been continually reflected in his professional endeavours. In addition to his role at Southern, Mr Iemma is also Chairman of Greyhound Racing NSW and has previously served on the Board of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust and is the honorary namesake of the Morris Iemma Sports Centre in Riverwood.
Mr Iemma is also District Commissioner for the Greater Sydney Commission, sits on the Board of TAFE NSW and is Chairman of Riverwood Community Centre, Miracle Babies Foundation and NSW Cancer Institute,
Bid Head of Football
Southern Expansion aims to ensure we entertain our region’s fans with an attacking style of football, and we are delighted that Craig has agreed to come onboard as Head of Football to bring this vision to life.
One of Australia’s most respected football identities with a rich history as player, administrator, writer, commentator and coach, Craig is uniquely placed to develop the Club’s football vision, methodology, underpinning program structure and content, technological innovation, design of our training facility and proposed purpose-built football stadium, and collaboration with our Association members and grass roots clubs.
29 appearances for Australia including as our 40th National Captain and Captain of Crystal Palace FC, as well as appearances for some of Australia’s most historic clubs.
Craig has served Professional Footballers Australia, of which he is a former Executive Member and Life Member, as both Chief Executive and Chairman. In 2016, Craig oversaw an independent review of the PFA which resulted in a revitalisation of the Board, staff and strategic direction.
Commentator and Analyst
Over fourteen years working with SBS Television’s multiple Logie-winning football coverage team, including female and male FIFA World Cups, Youth World Cups, Olympic Games, Copa Americas, the UEFA Champions League and Hyundai A-League. Craig is recognised as promoting the importance of in-depth match analysis that now underpins broadcast coverage in Australia and has made a major contribution to the growing literacy of the Australian football community.
Craig is also Australia’s Ballon d’Or and AFC International Player of the Year judge.
Possessing an FFA Pro License, Craig has been Head Coach of youth development programs at FNSW, Australia’s largest state, for the past five years, having coached for over a decade.
Under his tutelage, FNSW have produced a record number of female and male players graduating to professional clubs, were awarded for outstanding quality of play and continue to develop Australia’s next generation of international talent.
Craig possesses a Masters in International Sport Management, Postgraduate Degree in Football Management, FFA Pro Coaching License and is completing his law degree.
Social and Community
Social inclusion, diversity, equality and the transformative value of football have been driving forces leading Craig to serve as Director of John Moriarty Football (JMF) and Nangala Foundation as well as, formerly, the Johnny Warren Foundation alongside Ambassadorships and ongoing support for Indigenous Football Week and National Indigenous Championships, Football United, ShakeItUp (Parkinson’s disease) and The Big Issue Street Football Program.
Craig developed the ‘Harmony Game’ in conjunction with SBS and the Federal Government to teach the importance of inclusion through football in hundreds of primary schools around the country and served as Director of COALAR, the Council for Australia Latin America Relations through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
‘It has been my privilege to contribute to Australian football in many capacities and this is another opportunity to directly influence the W-League and A-League as well as the production of Australia’s future talent from one of our greatest nurseries in Southern Sydney. With both a training facility and potential future stadium as well as designing the club philosophy and structure, the project is as diverse as it is exciting. A project that the entire game and broader community will benefit from.’
CEO – Southern Expansion
Chris Gardiner is the CEO of Southern Expansion. He previously had a 25+ year career in the leadership of not-for-profit organisations, and consults and works in leadership and organisational review and development. He holds separate postgraduate qualifications in international relations, management and leadership, and professional ethics, and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. His football experience includes taking over the relegated Parramatta FC and getting it back into the NSW Premier League, Chairing Football NSW’s General Purposes Tribunal over many years, and serving currently as a Football NSW Board Member.
Chris is passionate about the development of talented young sports people, and as CEO of PCYC in NSW, Chris was responsible for major youth sporting and community initiatives, including the production of a World Youth Champion in boxing, the Nations of Origin Rugby League 7s event, and the State-wide Blue Star Leadership Program.