Some would say that supporting Perth Glory has been a soap opera in the past eight years. As a reality show it would no doubt have attracted a large number of viewers, but unfortunately some unwanted attention into the inner working sod the club.
After the debacle that was last season and the team stripped of finals football due to the club breaking the salary club regulations, it would appear that this season is more of a game show, and that is without a ball being kicked.
There were many who hoped that owner Tony Sage would walk away from the club and let new owners come in and try and get the club back to where it used to belong in the consciousness of the Western Australian public. That has not happened, and many wonder what will it take for him to leave.
The club does however have a new CEO, Peter Filopoulos, who yesterday in the Sunday Times was talking about a five year plan for the club; One has to ask if he has done his homework before heading West as the club has adopted long term plans in the past and an abandoned them with in at least two years on every occasion. What makes him think he can ensure that his five year plan will be adhered to?
As long as the FFA give A-League franchises money to cover the salaries of players from the TV rights then it falls to the owners to only have to cover operational costs. Airfares are again covered by the FFA for interstate matches.
Like FIFA A-League clubs need sponsors and it is these companies that keep the club afloat financially. The money they contribute in the main being spent on the day to day running of the club. Since last season we believe that Europcar and Clough – despite still being listed on the website – have withdrawn their sponsorship of the club. Yet perennial principal partner QBE insurance remains on board. The word is if the withdrew the club would be in dire straits.
One of the most unenviable jobs this season would have to be working in the membership department. IT may even become even more unenviable as Mr Filopoulous in the same article mentioned previously has a target of memberships reaching 10,000. An admirable goal, but tis figure is higher than any home crowd attendance in the clubs’ history in the A-League. Not only that, but as long as the current owner is involved with the club, the Socceroos winning the World Cup is a more likely proposition.
More fans than had memberships have stated that they are not renewing for the coming season. Yet the Memberships department has to keep knocking on doors to try and swing fans back on board. In fact we have heard that the club has been calling fans to ask why they have not renewed. It would be interesting to know if the reasons give are recorded and presented to the owner, as we are pretty sure he may well be the main reason.
What is interesting is just like when you try to end your Foxtel subscription, you are offered more channels at no extra charge, Perth Glory have entered the bargaining game. Word is that you can state what it would take to renew your membership. “I want my best mate to be included on my membership at the same price,” could be one request, and the club will tell you if you have a deal or not.
Now before those who accepted the standard terms and conditions of their membership renewals start reaching for the phones, we took some legal advice and there is nothing illegal in what the club has done, as it is entering into a contract between two parties under freedom of contract. Where there is an issue is morally.
Perth Glory may desperately want members, but is this really the way to get people onside? Surely it is going to frustrate and annoy those fans who were staying loyal to the club by renewing their membership and not asking questions or for add-ons? It is certainly going to make it a lot harder to reach that goal of 10,000 members.
This is a very sad day for the club and a sad day for football. Is there anyway back from such a situation or is everything now open to negotiation?
The only thing one hopes they do not try and bargain on is the outcome of games as that really would be the final straw.