Yesterday’s post caused quite a stir, when we looked at the dwindling fans going through the turnstiles at Perth Glory games. (Fans Continue to Stay Away).
I have been accused of going on a witch-hunt and pushing a personal agenda; although what that agenda is the person was unable to enlighten me.
The fact is football in Western Australia needs Perth Glory to succeed as it has an impact on the game as a whole being our one and only A-League club, and the pinnacle of the sport in the state. The club has made continual errors in judgement over the past 7-8 years that have eroded the support the club used to garner and also its place in the sporting landscape in WA. Perth Glory tickets used to be the hottest in town, now they are hard to give away.
If we look at the playing side of things, the club has been reasonably consistent; 09/10 season -5th,(Finals) 10/11 – 10th, 11/12 – 3rd and lost Grand Final, 12/13 – 6th (Finals) 13/14 – 8th and 14/15 – 7th (compulsory finish outside of the top six due to salary cap breaches). The club has made the finals on three occasions in the past six seasons and it would have been four had they not been caught breaking the salary cap. This is not a bad record. Sure everyone would like them to make the finals every year but sadly that does not always happen.
One of the reasons that this may not have happened is if we look at the 2010/11 season coach David Mitchell was moved upstairs and Ian Ferguson took over, in 2013/14 Alistair Edwards was sacked and Kenny Lowe took over. So in seasons when the finals were not achieved the club sacked the coach. In fact since the current owner took over the club in 2007 there have been five coaches in eight seasons. Added to that figure there have been six people take on the role of CEO in eight seasons; although John Boardman held that position in an acting capacity.
If you want consistency on and off the park you must appoint the right people and give them the time to execute the long term plans that they have told the fans they intend to implement. Sir Alex Ferguson is regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time, yet Manchester United stuck with him and his vision and three years after his appointment the club won its first trophy, and then from that one success came more. Closer to home at the end of the first A-League season Melbourne Victory were bottom of the Australian teams, only the now defunct New Zealand Knights were below them, yet they stuck with coach Ernie Merrick and the following season won the minor Premiership and the Grand Final. This was a feat Merrick and Victory repeated in 2008/09. Both of these coaches and the staff around them laid the foundations that made the clubs front runners in their competitions today. Had they been at Perth Glory one wonders if they would have been given the same time to build success.
It is clear talking to many fans, and people involved in football that they have an issue with the way the club is run as well as the leadership shown by the owner, who has been the one constant during the past eight turbulent years. To many of those not attending games he is the reason. This is not a witch hunt, just merely stating a fact.
To try and confirm that we would be grateful if fans would share the reason why they are not going to Perth Glory games and supporting from home or in bars this season in the poll below.