David Gallop is an Australian sports administrator, lawyer and the chief executive of the Football Federation Australia. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Rugby League between February 2002 and June 2012. He was also the Secretary of the Rugby League International Federation from its inception in 1998 up until his resignation on 5 June 2012.
Gallop in 2016
|Residence||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Alma mater||University of Sydney|
|Occupation||CEO, FFA (2012–2019)|
|Height||188 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
Gallop was born in Canberra and lived there until the age of 14 while his father worked as a lawyer. He spent a short time in Darwin before returning to Canberra in the suburb of Narrabundah. Gallop played cricket at Canberra Grammar and his father persuaded him to become a Canberra Raiders supporter. He started a sports administration course at Canberra College of Advanced Education but bowed out after just a week for arts at the Australian National University. He then moved to Sydney in 1984 to study law at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1988. In 1989, he travelled to England to play cricket in the Kent League. In 1990, he married wife Kathy and together they have two children, Tom and Anna.
During the summer of 1994–95, Gallop was working as an associate with the Sydney law firm Holman Webb Lawyers, and playing cricket on weekends with a University of NSW Cricket Club side. A UNSW teammate had set up a meeting with John Ribot, who had come up with the Super League idea, and Gallop first became involved in Rugby league as Legal Affairs Manager for Super League in 1995.
Having previously acted as the NRL’s Director of Legal and Business Affairs, Gallop was closely involved in all key decisions involving the game since the NRL’s inception in late 1997. He was voted the New South Wales Sports Administrator of the Year in 2002. In 2006, he was voted the Australian Sports Administrator of the year at the Confederation of Australian Sport Awards.
In April 2010, in the greatest sporting scandal in NRL history, he announced the stripping of two premierships and three minor premierships from the Melbourne Storm team. He further announced they would play out the remainder of the 2010 season for no points. Gallop was widely criticised by many for these heavy penalties with much of the criticism directed at the apparent conflict of interest. Gallop's employer - News Limited - was also the owner of the Melbourne Storm. Gallop was also close friends with John Hartigan - the then Chairman of News Limited Australia. Hartigan identified Storm's ex-CEO Brian Waldron as the 'chief rat'. All penalties were handed down despite Gallop not seeking board approval prior to doing so, and were handed down before any investigation was conducted. In order to diffuse some of this criticism, the NRL Board finally came out a month later and backed Gallop's stance. This was the second major salary cap scandal under Gallop's leadership. In 2002, the then table-topping Canterbury Bulldogs were stripped of all competition points and finished wooden spooners after being found cheating the salary cap. However, just two years later they won the premiership with largely the same playing roster. Gallop also had to deal with the mid-season defection of Bulldogs star Sonny Bill Williams to French rugby union.
In 2011, he again fell into hot water in his first visit to Melbourne after the Storm salary cap scandal of 2010, when he likened Melbourne Storm fans to terrorists after they booed him during the presentation of the 2011 Minor Premiership. This coming after the Storm were presented the minor premiership on 11 September, exactly the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks in America. He was forced later to clarify his comments which did little to ease the already fractured relations between the NRL and the Melbourne Storm fans.
In February 2012, co-inciding with the formation of the new NRL independent commission and the exit of News Limited from its control of the game, Gallop's contract as CEO was formally extended a further four years. His contract extension was a condition placed by News Limited with the ARL. 2012 was Gallop's 10th year in charge of Rugby League in Australia; however, on Tuesday, 5 June 2012 Gallop's reign as NRL CEO came to an end when the new Independent Commission announced his immediate departure. This was mostly due to the fact that the ARL wanted to go 'in a different direction'.
On 21 August 2012, David Gallop was announced as the new chief executive of the Football Federation Australia, replacing previous CEO and former Australian Rules footballer Ben Buckley. During his time as CEO, Gallop oversaw the introduction of the FFA Cup competition bringing together clubs from the national level A-League as well as state based leagues. In his time as CEO, Australia's men's and women's national teams also underwent substantial change, with Holger Osieck replaced as the men's team by Ange Postecoglou who took charge for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals and Australia's successful appearance at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. Australia's women's team coach Alen Stajcic was dismissed in the months leading up to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, leading to some criticism in the media.
In July 2019, it was announced that Gallop would stand down from his role as FFA CEO in December 2019.
- "A man on top of his game". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 March 2007.
- Farewell to Outgoing Chairman of the ASC Board Greg Hartung[dead link]
- Grigg, Angus. "Hartigan profile". afr.com. Australian Financial Review.
- "NRL board backs Gallop action". abc.net.au. AAP.
- Paxinos, Stathi (16 August 2011). "Storm vindicates NRL, says Gallop". theage.com.au. Melbourne: The Age.
- "David Gallop was a man who stood tall amid rugby league storms". The Australian. 6 June 2012.
- "Crisis manager: Decade of drama that brought out the best in David Gallop". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "NRL boss David Gallop apologises for Melbourne Storm fan slur". heraldsun.com.au. Herald Sun.
- Walter, Brad. "New contract for Gallop as commission prepares to take the reins". m.smh.com.au. The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "David Gallop to stand down as FFA chief executive".
- "David Gallop to stand down as FFA CEO on 31 December 2019". Hyundai A-League. Retrieved 17 September 2019.