Last night the CEO of Perth Glory was very generous with his time appearing on the show to discuss the Glory review, but there were still mixed messages coming from the club.
Mr Kelly advised that he had not seen the report compiled by David Hatt, he also tried to convince the listeners that Mr Hatt received no remuneration for spending three months compiling the report.
He made it very clear that if Ian Ferguson does not have the team performing ten games into next season he will receive “a tap on the shoulder.” Yet he conceded that it was up to the players when they went onto the park, when he said “you can’t control what goes on on the park.”
He went on to state that “We’ve fallen into the trap of signing players on three or four year contracts and you suffer sometimes when you do that. I’d rather sign proven young players on 3-4 year contracts.” Yet he then stated that part of the report states “don’t give contracts for more than two years to players.”
It is going to be a very interesting time as the club looks to as he says bring through youth and at the same time achieve results , and Ian Ferguson is the man who is supposed to juggle playing a good brand of football, achieve results and bring through not only young talent but also local talent.
There is no doubt that the club needs local talent to bring back that parochial feel that the fans can relate to, but this is going to take time and investment.
The news that the club is going to “appoint a western Australian based recruiter that will be someone who specifically sits in the Western Australian market looking for players for us,” as Mr Kelly said is an interesting proposition.
The question is who is going to take the training sessions after work to lift these players to a standard where you can see if they are going to be able to make the step up? That is another role that will take more money and would need to be a specialized position. Obviously the club would want to have these players in camp first before offering them a contract.
As Mr Kelly said they are targeting state league player aged 20-25. These players will have jobs and many will look at the financial implications before such a commitment.
This is an interesting age group because statistics from the UK show that 50% of players who come through the youth system in England do not get offered first team contracts. Of the remaining 50% that do, another 50% of them are out of the game by the time they are 22.
Mr Hatt has published this report and made a lot of recommendations, recommendations Mr Kelly has said are “basic business principles.” It would appear therefore that these basic principles were not being applied before, which is a concern. If that is the case Mr Hatt may have helped a little more by advising the club how they can carry out some of his recommendations, as some of the suggestions that have been published show a lack of understanding about the problems that face an A League coach. Prior to Mr Kelly’s appearance on the show we spoke to such people who had read the published recommendations and who had held and hold coaching positions in the Hyundai A League and all were very unimpressed with the report believing that it will cause the club more harm than good.
As we have stated previously we hope it is all for the best but Glory fans will in our opinion have to suffer more pain before they experience the joys of yesteryear.