David Gallop has admitted the FFA considered dumping Holger Osieck (right) from the Socceroos coaching spot in June. Photo: Getty Images
FFA chief executive David Gallop, who has backed Frank Lowy's desire to make an Australian the next coach of the Socceroos, has admitted the federation considered dumping Holger Osieck as far back as June.
Gallop was the man who broke the news to Osieck that the German had been sacked after resounding defeats against Brazil and France and has since been in London with the Socceroos for their 3-0 friendly win against Canada.
Having spoken to some potential foreign candidates while abroad, Gallop returned to Australia on Friday and said the decision to go for a local was unanimous.
''Since my return from Europe, I've met with the chairman and we have reaffirmed our commitment to FFA's long-term strategy that the next Socceroos coach would ideally be an Australian,'' he said.
There are now three candidates in the running: Melbourne Victory's Ange Postecoglou, Central Coast's Graham Arnold and Western Sydney's Tony Popovic. All three of the clubs have been spoken to by the FFA this week and are preparing contingency plans in case they lose their manager.
The biggest sticking point for each of them will be what compensation will be made available, if any.
Melbourne Victory's contract with Postecoglou would need to be bought out by the FFA in the unlikely event that he cannot secure a release. However, it is far more likely that a financial compromise will be reached between the FFA and the powerhouse club should Postecoglou be offered the job.
Arnold's contract at Central Coast has provisions for him to leave if an overseas club makes an offer and is likely to be flexible enough for a quick release.
As the FFA owns the Wanderers, moving Popovic into the Australian job would be markedly easier, especially as the club has a ready-made replacement in Ante Milicic, Popovic's right-hand man.
Given their weaker monetary position, the Mariners may seek financial assistance to appoint a new coach if Arnold is released for nothing.
Gallop admitted the FFA had been considering replacing Osieck since the qualification matches in June, where the Socceroos only secured their place in Brazil in the dying moments of their final match against Iraq.
''It should not come as a surprise that we have been considering possible scenarios and options since the World Cup qualification period earlier this year,'' Gallop said. ''That is appropriate contingency planning.''
While Lowy was keen to get the appointment made in the next week or so, Gallop said it might be held back until next month if no deal can be agreed sooner.
''We would like to appoint the coach before the next FIFA window in November, to give him the opportunity to work with the players ahead of the World Cup, the Asian Cup and beyond,'' he said.
Gallop reiterated his desire to see the Socceroos bring through some new faces sooner rather than later.
It was confirmed that the review into the national team's set-up - as conducted by ex-Socceroo Luke Casserly - started earlier this week.