PASSION PLAY - NEW CEO OPENS UP PERTH GLORY

Having been unveiled as Perth Glory's new Chief Executive Office on Monday morning, Jason Brewer sat down with the club's official website to introduce himself to the supporters and outline his vision for the future.

Having been unveiled as Perth Glory's new Chief Executive Office on Monday morning, Jason Brewer sat down with the club's official website to introduce himself to the supporters and outline his vision for the future.

Perth Glory Online: Congratulations on your appointment Jason. How excited are you to be on board?

Jason Brewer: Thanks very much. I'm absolutely thrilled to have been given this opportunity. I'm extremely passionate about the game and with everything we have in place at the club now, I'm very confident that a successful future lies ahead. Hopefully the passion I have for the club and for football in general will come through. Yes I have to have a certain frame of mind for the business side, but I want my passion for the game to really overflow into everything I do here and I'm sure it will.

PGO: Could you tell us a little about your personal and business background and how your links with Glory have developed to this point?

JB: I was born and raised in Plymouth in the UK and then studied in London at Imperial College. I'm a mining engineer by background and I also have a law degree. I originally came to WA in 1991 and have considerable experience in investment banking having worked in organisations such as Investec, Rothschild and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. Through my business interests, I got involved in supporting Glory's trips to South Africa and obviously we've now been there three times and each trip has been really successful at every level. I am in complete agreeance of the recent direction in bringing a business focus to the football club and that's something I'm determined to continue to do and build upon in my new role.

PGO: And it's fair to say that football is very much in your blood?

JB: Absolutely. I'm a mad football supporter and player and grew up following my hometown club, Plymouth Argyle. I've got three kids, two sons and a daughter and the boys are madly passionate about the sport as well. I've been heavily involved in the local football scene here and was president of Subiaco Football Club for a number of years. For a very community-focused club, we managed to really develop it and I think it was actually one of the first clubs to do the community liaison programme with Glory, so I came to know some of the staff here through that. I recognised the importance of getting Glory involved in grassroots football, that's something I remain very much committed to. In addition to my involvement with Subiaco, more recently I've been working on the committee at ECU Joondalup, getting ready for the major changes that the NPL will bring to Football in this state. I'm a football supporter at heart; that's the bottom line. On a Saturday, I'm watching all three grades at a state league game and then I'm up until the early hours of every Sunday morning watching football on television, watching junior Football during the morning and then playing Masters Football in the afternoon. That's a perfect weekend for me.

PGO: Where do you feel the club is positioned at the moment and are you happy with the direction that it's moving in?

JB: This is a club which has undergone massive highs and massive lows and experienced a huge amount of change. (Interim CEO) John Boardman has done a lot of work over the last year to really give the club the strong foundation it needs. In terms of the team, the strategic direction that Alistair (Edwards) is taking is a clear indication that we are building something here. We are not after quick fixes. If we get where we want to go in the next 12 months, that will be fantastic, but I think two or three years down the track, we'll really be reaping the rewards of what we are putting into place right now. Obviously I really want the club to succeed on the pitch, but that is Alistair's domain and I'm not going to interfere on the football side. He has a great track record and the team he has put together is a really good one. I saw first-hand in South Africa the meticulous preparation he puts into his training sessions and was hugely impressed. He'd be out on the training ground with all his coaches at least an hour before the session, setting it up and running through exactly how he wanted it to go. And that's two months out from the first league game of the season. It's great to see that level of preparation on the pitch, but we've got to make sure that we are just as prepared and organised off it.

PGO: In terms of specifics, what are some of your main immediate objectives?

JB: I think the club has done a lot in terms of improving fan engagement over the last year or so and from now until the start of the season, I will be doing something pretty much every week to ensure that that trend continues. I really hope we can do a lot of the fan forums this year and get out there and meet as many people as we can. I'm keenly aware that we have to listen to supporters and be aware of their expectations. There's also no getting away from the fact that we have a disenfranchised local league. The relationship with the state league teams is strained and for the life of me, I can't see why that should be. I come from a background in England where you have your local semi-pro teams which are the equivalent of the state league teams here, but they all support the nearest League Two, League One, Championship or Premiership team. For some reason those bridges have been knocked down here in WA and we've got to build them up again. We've got to get that support back. In terms of crowds, given the population of the Perth metropolitan area, I can't see why we can't be drawing 15,000 for every home game. We are doing our damndest to make sure that this year, the players come out and see that fantastic new east stand at nib Stadium packed like it was for the Adelaide game at the end of last season. We now have a stadium where people can come and enjoy the game and we need to create an in-ground atmosphere that people want to come back to. There's nothing better than going into a stadium and just hearing that noise. We need to re-ignite that passion in the supporters, but at the same time, we do of course have to perform on the field.

PGO: As CEO, you will inevitably cop plenty of flak regardless of how successful the club is. Is that something you're prepared for?

JB: I'm ready for criticism and the one thing I will do is respond. I've always responded to every individual email or 'phone call that I've received during my time with publicly-listed companies and sometimes people have wondered how I've managed to find the time to do that. But in my opinion you have to respond to comments from genuine supporters good or bad and I-m happy to do that as these people have invested time and money into the club. I will strive, together with everyone involved to deliver something we-re proud of. That's the nature of football supporters. Every fan on the terraces or in the stands is a better player than the blokes on the pitch, or a better manager than the bloke in the dugout or a better club owner. As a supporter myself, I understand that and I'm ready for it. People want to vent their frustrations and I'm happy to take it on the chin. We are trying to build something here and we're not going to get it 100% right on day one. But I guarantee you that this is a completely different club to what it was a year ago. We've got some great people here now who are passionate about the club and love what they're doing. That's a great thing to have and now we want to get the supporters to really come out in numbers. And at a personal level, I just want to get to put my head down, get to work and deliver for this great club.