Arnold wrong about Mat Ryan “leak”, says FFA

Football Federation Australia labels claims of an internal 'leak' by Mariners coach Graham Arnold wrong and offensive.

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold was wrong to accuse FFA of “leaking” news about goalkeeper Mat Ryan, according to FFA-s Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Kyle Patterson.

The website broke the story last week about English club Hull City-s offer of a trial to the Mariners- keeper.

“The fact of the matter is that overseas clubs do not write to FFA asking about trials for Hyundai A-League players,” said Patterson.

“They write directly to the A-League clubs. How and when that news becomes public is a matter for the clubs and agents involved.

“The accusation that FFA operations staff have leaked this story is plain wrong. They didn-t know and wouldn-t know. In any case, it-s offensive to suggest that A-League operations staff would share confidential club information.”

Patterson said the Ryan story was breaking news reported by the editorial team that uncovered the story using its own resources and contacts.

“The website employs independent journalists in conjunction with our digital partner Optus,” said Patterson. “They don-t work in the FFA offices.

“Their job is to publish compelling news and features on Australian football. The website is not just a corporate noticeboard. Our aim is to make it the number one football portal in Australia and breaking the Mat Ryan story shows how serious we are about that.

“In October FFA appointed Mike Cockerill to the position of Associate Editor of website. Mike is one of the top football journalists in Australia after a 28-year career with the ‘Sydney Morning Herald-.

“One of the principal reasons for this appointment was to make the content of the website more compelling; that includes breaking news. We are confident we're on the right path in this regard."

Patterson said the FFA digital model replicates what is happening in sport in the USA, where the NBA is leading the way in making the game-s official digital channels the best in class for news and features.

“The AFL is going down the same path with over 100 writers and producers working in its digital channels,” Patterson continued. “This is part of the convergence of media channels that-s gaining pace around the world.”