News that Perth Glory may well move away from its traditional home of NIB Stadium could well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Ever since taking over the reins of Perth Glory Tony Sage has butted heads with the Allia, the management company that holds the lease for NIB Stadium. He has constantly griped at the costs for the A League team to play at the venue and has claimed that every home game loses him up to $75,000.
One of the main problems would appear to be that each season Perth Glory fail to obtain the projected crowd numbers that they base their budgets on. In business such a miscalculation would see heads roll, but year on year they claim they will average the 12,500 needed to break even, yet fail to do so. One of the reasons for this is the disconnection that the club has with the football public but the main reason is a complete lack of marketing. This season the same picture was run in the paper prior to every game with the copy changed to suit the game. That is not marketing!
News that the opening game of next season of the Hyundai A league will be played at Patersons Stadium – formerly Subiaco Oval – has been met with a mixed response from those “Not The Footy Show” spoke to. This venue is dreadful for watching sports played on rectangular pitches, because you are too far away from the action. Rugby Union fans tolerated it for two years and then in the third stayed away in their droves and watched the Emirates Western Force on television, what is to say the Perth Glory Fans won’t do the same.
The club believes according to Mr Sage on radio station 6PR this morning that they will get over 20,000 for that opening game against Grand Final opponents Brisbane Roar, and will average 14,000 a home game because the are now ‘title contenders.’ That is not enough, to be ‘title contenders,’ as was reflected in the fact that they were unable to draw that number for either of their home finals games last season. The club has to lift its profile and its place in the psyche of the Perth public. Perth Glory tickets used to be the hottest in town but regrettably that is no longer the case.
As for getting over 20,000 at Subiaco Oval unless a massive marketing campaign is embarked on to pull the public in the club could once again be left with egg on its face.
Then there is the news that the club may move to the soon to be demolished Perth Arena and play on a synthetic pitch indoors. A novel idea, and one that will no doubt intrigue many for the first game but it is again a risky move. The much talked about move to the Perth Hockey Stadium will have to be discounted as in December the Super 9‘s tournament is locked in already, so a change of pitch there would not be possible in the short term.
One has to feel for the club that it is faced with finding a new home, as Football fans like certainty and routine, having one game at one venue another somewhere else will break that routine. One hopes that something can be sorted out before the start of the season and Perth Glory do take the field at NIB Stadium next season, and maybe a well planned and executed marketing strategy will see more fans come through the gates.