14 November 2022

Ivan Slavich takes the reins at Capital Football

| Tim Gavel
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Ivan Slavich

Ivan Slavich is preparing to take on the role of CEO of Capital Football. Photo: File.

Ivan Slavich isn’t afraid of a challenge. At times he has taken on the seemingly impossible.

A decade ago as the head of the A-League for Canberra bid, with limited resources, he went close to securing a licence for the ACT.

The bid fell short but it went a fair distance further than even the most optimistic expected.

In many ways, it has been the perfect grounding as he prepares to take on the role of CEO of Capital Football.

The sport is literally bursting at the seams with 35,000 members but growth is hampered by a lack of facilities, and there’s plenty of politics to navigate in football in Canberra. Added to this is the seemingly endless quest for an A-League men’s team.

“Canberra has to be the next team in the A-League men,” says Ivan. “Six hundred thousand people live in the Canberra region; it is sustainable. But that’s not my main focus in this job. The sport needs more support.

“If we can bring more money into the organisation it will fund greater resources to provide a professional service to the football community.”

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Ivan’s proven track record in raising funds at previous roles, including as the CEO of Soldier On, provides confidence that he can do likewise in football. And he is clearly thinking about ways to increase funds.

“I have some initiatives to bring more money into the organisation,” he says.

There is also a proposed ‘home of football’ at Throsby.

“Once I start in the role I will look at the status of the project,” he says. “What I can say is that Capital Football is committed to Throsby.”

And always ready to face whatever needs to be addressed, Ivan does not shy away from the politics of his chosen sport. His philosophy? “Where there’s people, there’s politics,” he says. “I think the key is the football community working together.”

So he is fully aware of what lies ahead.

As well as the A-League bid he has been involved in football in Canberra through numerous roles for many years at the club level and with Capital Football, including three years on the board and as a sponsor. He has practically covered all bases within the sport.

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Despite this knowledge, Ivan says one of his first tasks will be to sit down with each of the club presidents, vice presidents and coaches.

“I am keen to find out what’s working, what’s not working, and issues faced by the clubs,” he says.

And on the subject of Capital Football’s, at times, fractured relationship with the media? He says: “It’s important Capital Football engages with the media.”

Given his previous roles with a number of successful businesses and his passion for this new role, there is a sense with Ivan that anything is possible. And even though he doesn’t start full-time in the role until 2023, one suspects his phone is already getting a workout.

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