News that Perth Glory Women will as of this season come back under the umbrella of the A-League club, is no doubt one that has many fans a little concerned.
Despite criticism as to how Football West have implemented the National Premier Leagues in Western Australia, and the competition structure, they did a great job of running the Perth Glory Women.
When owner of Perth Glory, Tony Sage, walked away from the team Football West CEO Peter Hugg did a great job of securing funding to enable the side to continue, and give many of the recent stars of the World Cup a club to play for.
Not only did Football West find the funding to run the team they also managed to create a team that was competitive, having made the semi finals of the competition and the final, sadly losing on both occasions. They also won the Premier’s Plate.
However the key difference between Football West running the Women’s team and Perth Glory, was that they actually promoted the team. Match reports were produced and sent out to media and they generated other stories about their players that were in the main of genuine interest and newsworthy.
Will this continue? Several years ago the Perth Glory stopped promoting the Youth League side, even though they continue to claim that these players are the future of the club. If that is so why not start highlighting the stand out players and performances, or at least reminding people when the fixtures are and who the upcoming opponents are?
It will be incredibly sad after all the good work that Football West, and the staff involved in the W-League side have done, if their work is not built upon. It will be a disgrace if they end up as just a brand with no promotion whatsoever like the Youth League side.
It seems strange that an owner who continually bemoans the fact that Perth Glory has cost him vast amounts of money should suddenly take on an extra cost, especially when he jettisoned the very same team ten years ago.
It is therefore understandable that many are questioning the reasons why. It is a well known fact the there is a Prospectus in the market offering Perth Glory for sale. Surely the acquisition of the successful W-League side has not come about purely to make the sale of the club a little more attractive, on the back of Australia’s success at the FIFA Women’s World Cup?
The stumbling blocks with the proposed sale of Perth Glory are many. First of all many potential buyers or investors feel that the Brand that was Perth Glory has been run into the ground, thanks to repeated issues on and off the pitch; raids by the Australian Tax office and Federal Police, Breaches of the Salary Cap etcetera.
Secondly the fact that the current owner is asking a figure that many find hard to justify, and are not sure on what those figures are based. It appears that the only basis for the price that is being asked is that the current owners of Western Sydney Wanderers paid the same price. Yet Western Sydney Wanderers did not have as much negative publicity surrounding it when it was sold, it was a thriving, young successful club; some would say with hindsight that these buyers paid too much for the franchise, and the release of key players at the end of last season would back that up as they look ti cut expenditure in order to turn a profit.
The final hurdle for any potential buyer is that the current owner allegedly wishes to keep 20% of the club. There is no doubt that any potential buyer who does his or her due diligence will never accept such a clause, as the current owner failing to appoint qualified people to key positions has aided in the club’s demise. His lack of investment on promotion of the club has resulted in attendances dropping. He is the constant factor at the club as it has lurched from one disaster to another.
It would be incredibly sad if Perth Glory Women have been brought back into the fold purely to make the sale of the club more attractive. It will be interesting to see how the club promotes the team and whether they invest as much time and energy as Football West did. One also wonders how secure successful coach Jamie Harnwell’s tenure will be now, and also whether he can in fact continue his role with Fox Sports while now employed by the A-League franchise, when before he was employed by Football West. Surely now there is a conflict of interest in such a role.
Whatever transpires we should thank those at Football West for keeping the team going and for raising it up to be one of the best in the country. We should also acknowledge all the volunteers who worked at all of their matches simply because of their love of football and wanting the team to succeed. Without them the team would not be the side it is. Let us hope that they have in fact set the standards that Perth Glory must meet, and the foundations on which the side can go on to bigger and better things.