The supplementary income of Perth Glory players has been a hot topic in recent weeks. Payments which have been exposed may mean that some players will have to curb their spending and tighten their belts as the additional money they were receiving outside of their contracted payments should dry up.
Some would say that this proves advertising does work as since 2013 the players have carried the slogan “Live Lighter” on the back of their shirts. This was of course a Healthway message to encourage the club to promote healthy living and saw the club “forgo sponsorship promoting junk food or alcohol and its continuing agreement with Schweppes can only promote bottled water.”
The deal which was signed for a two year duration is due to expire at the end of this season and saw the club receive $500,000 of tax payers funds. It was a decision that angered many at the time of its announcement, even though from a Healthway perspective the move made sense.
At the time the sponsorship agreement was announced Healthway board chairwoman Rosanna Capolingua said that football was one of the fastest growing sports among young people, and so was an ideal vehicle to promote healthy living. “Recent research at the University of WA has found that more than seven out of 10 people who attends a Healthway-sponsored event are aware of the health message promoted there and one in every six people who attends takes relevant action to improve their health as a result.” She said at the time.
Club Chairman and owner Tony Sage was quoted as saying that the decision to go down this path was purely due to a social responsibility, “In the end, every professional sport needs sponsorship and we don’t begrudge our previous sponsors but I started raising concerns about childhood obesity a few years ago and it’s become a huge issue,” he said.
The question is can a Government organisation now be seen to align itself with a club which has been found to have cheated? What message does that send to the youth of Western Australia?
The next few weeks will no doubt reveal whether the club will have to live lighter with one sponsor opting not to put money back into the club as a result of their actions off the pitch. There is no doubt that the actions of the club will carry a great deal of weight with sponsors and their association with a club that has gone against the Australian sporting ethos of “having a fair go.”