Once again it appears that Perth Glory are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.
Football fans in Western Australia have bemoaned the fact that every year the East coast of the country sees big European clubs come out for pre season training camps and warm up games, while the West misses out. To be fair to Perth Glory, Dave Mitchell when coach used his contacts and managed to entice Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the same season, Perth Glory footing the bill for one of the teams to make the trip. Celtic’s visit was all tied in with the transfer of Nick Feely to Celtic. Feely having had a very short stint with the club’s youth team before being discarded as his university studies made it hard for him to make training in Cockburn on time. Yet when the Celtic deal came through Perth Glory held it up until it was agreed if Celtic came to Australia they would play Glory.
This time around the club has seized on an opportunity and once again are getting slammed for it. Adelaide United instigated Malaga CF’s trip to Australia, thanks to the contacts of their coach Josep Gombau. One reason Adelaide United announcements always precede the Glory’s. When putting the trip together the team had a choice of flying almost an extra six hours to the East coast of Australia and on to Adelaide or to come via Perth.
Once the Perth option arose the possibility of a game against Perth Glory came up and understandably the club jumped at the chance. The trouble was with the team arriving on Saturday evening and heading on to Adelaide 24 hours later there really was only a very small window of opportunity to play the match. Unfortunately the kick off time of 3pm is going to clash with the majority of the amateur and social kick off times.
The match was announced by Perth Glory on 04 July. Which one would have thought was plenty of time for Football West to work with the clubs and councils around the city to try and re-schedule kick off times so that Perth Glory can attract as big a crowd as possible. A letter sent out yesterday by Football West’s CEO – just five days before the game – appears to have put the onus back onto the clubs; “Our competitions department will work with clubs to reschedule games so that members can attend.” It stated.
In fact that was the penultimate paragraph, of a letter that was almost pleading for the local clubs to attend the game, as well as to promote it. Surely this is where Perth Glory and Football West should have a marketing budget and on occasions such as this share the costs? It should not be up to the clubs to promote such games. This is where a marketing campaign built around social media falls down, as you are simply preaching to the converted. The administrators at all of these clubs already have enough on their plates without having to do such things, and where is the incentive for them to help, what is the benefit to them and their club?
Perth Glory is getting criticised unfairly in some quarters for seizing an opportunity to bring a top side club to town. When in reality it is Football West who should have started working with the clubs and councils as soon as the game was announced to try and move fixtures so that more people could attend the match. In fact had the two bodies worked together, Perth Glory could have given each club president who moved their fixture a couple of free tickets to raffle or simply give to a deserving club member.
We are told that the two bodies are working together, Football West and Perth Glory, but this situation causes many to question that.
One thing is for sure, Perth Glory should not be criticised for grabbing the opportunity to bring a top flight European side to Perth.