At the start of the Hyundai A League season Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell bemoaned the fact that his side were the only side to have to play it’s first two games away from home, as they had done the season before. He also highlighted the fact that Perth Glory once again had more games away from home than they did home games which seemed more than a little unfair.
Many dismissed his claims as making excuses, but on closer analysis he has a very valid point.
With 27 games being played this season and 21 last season, some teams are always going to have less home games than others, but one would expect that to rotate each season.
In season 2008/09 Perth Glory, Sydney and Brisbane Roar all only had 10 home games while the other clubs had eleven. In 2009/10 Central Coast Mariners, Wellington Phoenix, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory all had 13 home games while all the other clubs had 14 at home. The common denominator here is that Perth Glory is the only team to have had less home games in consecutive seasons.
Melbourne Victory, the team with the best home crowds in the league has for two seasons had more home games than away games, as have Adelaide. This makes their performance this season look even worse.
It would appear that the people responsible for planning the fixtures are looking at more than just fairness to clubs, owners and fans. The fact that Victory has more home games means that the overall crowd figures are bumped up. Not going to Perth that one extra time will save money on sending referees over to Perth.
Hopefully this issue will be addressed in season 2010/11. As Perth Glory’s sole owner Tony Sage is being deprived of generating more revenue for the club. In addition with a home record like the Glory’s the chance of a possible home final, as that extra game this season could well have resulted in another three points which would have guaranteed such an event.