NZ Football chairman van Hattum quits role

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 11:34 23/01/2014
Frank van Hattum
ALL OVER: New Zealand Football chairman Frank van Hattum has quit after almost six years in the job.

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New Zealand Football chairman Frank van Hattum has quit.

After almost six years as the head of Kiwi football, van Hattum has cited "increased commitments in his day job" working for a major global oil company as the reason for resigning.

An elected member of the NZF board since 2006, van Hattum says the time is right to walk.

"After nearly 14 years in football administration starting as the inaugural chair of Capital Football in 2000 it is time for someone else to take the chair at NZF," van Hattum said.

"I feel I've done my bit, and with a new CEO, a new World Cup cycle for the All Whites about to begin and the game in sound financial health it's a perfect time to inject some new blood."

With NZ Football's business model under serious pressure, having failed to qualify for this year's World Cup, the national football body now needs a new chairman while it already awaits a fourth chief executive in five years, Andy Martin, to start next month.

In a press release issued on behalf of van Hattum today, it was claimed sustainability was an important part of van Hattum's tenure with "the sport setting aside large slices of Fifa prize money to ensure the game was on firmer footing."

Van Hattum says he is proud football has credibility in New Zealand and will officially resign at the NZ Football board meeting in February, at which the board will elect a new chair. 

Van Hattum will continue to serve on the board until the annual congress in May, when a replacement will be elected to take over the rest of his term.

"The sport is more aligned than it's ever been and it's pleasing to see our federations developing and performing, while we have a robust and innovative strategic plan setting a unified direction," he said.

"I am tremendously proud of the game's progress especially our industry-leading Whole of Football Plan, the rise of the Football Ferns and overall growth in the women's game and the way futsal is thriving after coming into the NZF family.

"All supported by a financial position that will allow planning and delivery with certainty.

"Above all, I'm most proud that football is again a credible and exciting sport on the New Zealand landscape worthy of public debate and emotion."

Making a "clean break from football governance for the time being at least", van Hattum also plans to transition out of roles on New Zealand's Local Organising Committee for the hosting of the 2015 under-20 world cup, Oceania Football Confederation's executive committee and as Trustee for the New Zealand Football Foundation.

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- Fairfax Media

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