In the interests of football in Western Australia, Perth Glory needs to be successful on the park, of that there can be no doubt. For having a team playing well and being successful in a national competition drives interest from future players and supporters and also gains media coverage which in turn results in investment in the game as a whole, from government and private sponsors.
This is also why there has to be a relationship between the game’s governing body in Western Australia, Football West and Perth Glory. Football West is there to grow the game at grassroots level and make sure that as many people as possible are playing the game in the state and a link with Perth Glory can help them do that. They also there predominantly to administer the game as a whole at all levels and ensure that there are sufficient pitches available for everyone who wants to play to be able to play.
Last year the two organisations worked together superbly when Perth Glory gave away 10,000 free tickets to their first game in the revamped NIB Stadium, and with most of the tickets being used by Football West’s member clubs ensured the biggest regular season A League crowd for the club.
Independent of Perth Glory, Football West in the past couple of years has made massive inroads in terms of communication. It has done this via social media and other such avenues, although the website still leaves a great deal to be desired with pertinent information often hard to find or simply not posted.
One of the major successes is Football 360. Peter Kapsanis and his offsider have done an outstanding job with this. The quality of the editing and production is first class, and shows their dedication to the task, as quality such as this takes time to put together.
As good as this is many people in and around the game believe that this webisode is supposed to be about the local game, the semi professionals the amateurs, the juniors, the women and the referees. It is not there as a vehicle to promote Perth Glory.
This is where lines appear to be becoming extremely blurred of late and it would appear that there has been a change in the relationship between the privately funded Perth Glory and the government funded not-for-profit Football West. It is easy to pinpoint when that shift started to occur and that was when Alistair Edwards and Gareth Naven were appointed to the coaching staff at the A-League club.
Suddenly two local boys were in charge, two ex players who had come through the game at local level and who had also worked closely with Football West. When they announced that they wanted to see Perth Glory become a side made up of predominantly local players not only was that good news for the game in Western Australia, but it was good news for Football West’s development programs; as every player signed from that pool of talent gives the program added credibility.
Since these two announcements Football West’s promotion of Perth Glory via its Facebook page – which surely is there solely for the areas of the game it governs? – its newsletters, and also Football 360 have featured a great deal more content on Perth Glory. A case in point the July 12th issue of First Touch, the official e-newsletter of Football West was almost completely about Perth Glory.
Football West pays for Football 360 to be produced, they pay staff to write their e-newsletter, so is the privately owned Perth Glory paying for this air time or the time the staff at Football West are dedicating to promote this privately run club? Many of the local clubs are beginning to become a little miffed that Football West is promoting Perth Glory so much and wonder what they, the clubs, or Football West are getting in return. If it is another 10,000 free tickets to one game this season is that a good deal?
Not the Footy Show over the past few months has been contacted by many clubs who feel that their competition is being neglected in favour of Perth Glory, that Football West’s focus is misdirected, rather than us be the judge, tell us what you think.