Western Australian football fans will be forced to travel across the Nullarbor to see Perth Glory FC stake its claim for the club’s first piece of silverware in 10 years, when it clashes against Adelaide United in the first Westfield FFA Cup Final next month.
Glory who sit on top of the Hyundai A-League ladder after five rounds, qualified for the Cup Final, after travelling to Melbourne this week, defeating second tier club Bentleigh Greens in the semi-final. Adelaide United last night defeated Central Coast Mariners 3-2 in the other semi-final clash at Coopers Stadium, the same venue where the Cup Final will be played on December 16.
Perth Glory FC Chief Executive Jason Brewer said it was disappointing WA and the fans wouldn’t be hosting a historic home Cup Final.
“It’s a blow to us, the players, everyone involved, and we are disappointed with the decision” Brewer said.
“The team has worked hard throughout the pre-season; we’re on top of the ladder and now into the first FFA Cup Final. We are answering the call by fans to lift our game and we are doing that, unfortunately it seems TV broadcast commitments come first” he said.
Hyundai A-League Chief Executive Damien de Bohun said the decision to award the Cup Final to Coopers Stadium was based on stronger home crowds.
“The selection of the Westfield FFA Cup final venue was based on the objective of maximising the attendance and the TV audience. It’s a cup final and we want as many Australians engaged as possible” he said.
“In relation to crowds, Adelaide United set a new A-League city record of 33,000 in round 2 and filled Coopers Stadium with 16,000 last weekend” he added.
Mr de Bohun also said there were Fox Sports broadcast commitments to satisfy.
“The time zone was also a factor is this decision, as were the requirements of our broadcast partner Fox Sports, and the overall desire to make this a great event. We had pencil bookings at all four venues going into the semi-finals, but Adelaide is the right choice on all the objective measures.
“Naturally, fans in Perth are disappointed and we respect their views as passionate supporters. Of course, every fan would want to have the FFA Cup final on home turf, so we understand the reaction. It’s another sign that in its first year the FFA Cup has become an instant classic on the football calendar. ”
Mr Brewer urged the FFA and the A-League to re-assess the criteria and how the Cup venue was decided in future years.
He said Perth Glory was focused on winning the final and etching the team’s name on the Cup trophy.
“It’s not every year you get to be part of the magic associated with a Cup Final, especially in the inaugural season so we as a club are going to do our bit , despite the odds to bring that silverware home” he said.
Perth Glory fans and the entire West Australian football public were being urged to vote with their feet and support the team’s bid for a third consecutive home win when Glory hosts the Asian Champions, Western Sydney Wanderers at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
The Wanderers head to Perth winless so far this season.
Kick-off is at 6.45pm.
Tickets to the game can still be purchased here.
FFA CUP TICKETING INFORMATION
Tuesday 18 November – 9am-11.59pm Adelaide United and Perth Glory FC members pre sale period
Tuesday 18 November – 1pm-11.59pm Football Family pre sale period
Wednesday 19 November – 10am General Public on sale
Visit www.theffacup.com.au/tickets for further details.