It is great that Perth Glory is heading over to South Africa as part of their pre-season preparations. It also makes a great deal of sense that ties be formed between Western Australia and South Africa as we are so close and have so many similarities. Hopefully it will be a benefit to the club and also the clubs they play against as well as the communities they visit in South Africa.
However, and we hate to be negative of something which we actually believe should have happened years ago, the club needs to be very careful that it is not being used as a pawn.
Reading the Press release from the club it stated: “In addition to the significant playing and training commitments Perth Glory will be undertaking as part of its South African tour it will also be visiting a number of local communities and hosting football skills programs which support and develop opportunities and initiatives for South African youth.”
“Continental Coal and Komodo Capital see the local community youth initiatives that Perth Glory will undertake as the key basis for their involvement and support of the tour.”
In Africa foreign companies have to have a commitment to invest in the local communities as well as undertake social responsibilities as part of the agreements that allow them to trade. It is hoped that Perth Glory are not being used as a tool to fulfil part of these companies commitments, in what is a very short term measure, to the local people.
Again sponsorship of such a trip is vital, and no doubt the two companies see a benefit in the trip as do the Perth Glory, but it is vital that such ‘initiatives’ are properly thought out and do not become token acts.
Perth Glory is first and foremost a football club, and it would be a great shame to see it and its brand being used for any other purposes than to entertain football fans and promote the sport.