Tony Sage confirms long term commitment following review

Perth Glory owner, Mr Tony Sage has reiterated his personal, long-term commitment to the Western Australian A-League team, following his receipt and review of a detailed independent review that has, in his view, provided him with the necessary “blue-print” to build sustained success for the club, both on and off field.

Perth Glory owner, Mr Tony Sage has reiterated his personal, long-term commitment to the Western Australian A-League team, following his receipt and review of a detailed independent review that has, in his view, provided him with the necessary “blue-print” to build sustained success for the club, both on and off field.

The comprehensive review, undertaken over a three month period by experienced Western Australian sporting administrator, Mr David Hatt, examined all aspects of the club-s operations, including the administration and football departments.

It involved lengthy confidential discussions with a range of key stakeholders, including staff, supporters, players, coaches, sponsors and the media. In all more than 20 people were interviewed, some several times.

The review specifically looked at the priority areas of club structure (administration and football), player recruitment and youth development, resourcing and relationships with key stakeholders (i.e. FFA, Football West, WA Government, etc).

It did not look at the ownership structure of the Perth Glory, as Mr Sage has confirmed that it is his preference to remain as the sole owner of the club.

Mr Sage said that in releasing the key findings and discussion points of the report, it means the mistakes from the past can be acknowledged publicly and actions taken to ensure the club can be re-built in a fashion that will ensure sustained success in the future.

“This review was not about blame, it was about having an honest look at ourselves and determining what actions needed to be taken to ensure the Perth Glory regained its position as one of the WA-s leading sporting teams and a credible force in the A-League,” Mr Sage said.

“We are drawing a line in the sand for Perth Glory and moving forward with a revitalised spirit and a new and positive direction,” he added.

Mr Sage said Mr Hatt-s thorough review, which had input from legendary Australian sporting coach Ric Charlesworth, showed that, with structural and cultural changes, Perth Glory has an exciting future and can achieve sustained success.

Key findings of the review included the need:

· for the club, as a matter of urgency, to establish a combined training and administration facility with Football West, most likely at a tertiary facility,

· to establish an Advisory Board, made up of high-calibre experts, to provide strategic direction, oversee and assess staff performances and determine ways to maintain growth and success,

· to identify and create a well structured development pathway for Western Australian youth that supports progression through the local competition to the Perth Glory A-League team (and beyond where appropriate),

· to refine the existing player recruitment function, to focus on youth as a priority, and where possible WA youth, and ensure all new recruits are thoroughly tested (physically and physiologically) prior to contracts being executed,

· to enhance relationship with peak WA and national football bodies, Football West and FFA, to ensure significant initiatives (i.e. combined facility, development pathway, etc) can progress in a timely and mutually beneficial manner, and

· to introduce a leadership group, made up of no more than six players from within the playing group.

Key discussion points:

Factors inhibiting Perth Glory-s viability:

Travel costs:Already discussed in detail, with Mr Hatt, FFA and Perth Glory, the club-s additional travel costs due to the extra nights accommodation on interstate trips. The amount is in excess of $200,000 per annum compared to the average of all other A-League clubs.

Recommendations

Discussed with FFA, an equalisation account similar to the AFL and NRL and better targeted fixtures.

Venue costs: Identified costs in excess of $700,000 per annum that can be saved.

Recommendations

To discuss with the State Government, the Town of Vincent and Allia to alleviate these identified costs. To explore alternative venues Mr Sage said Perth Glory had, as a result of the receipt of the report from Mr Hatt, instituted a number of the key recommendations and would continue to focus its strategic and operational efforts on institution a number of the remaining key recommendations during the extended hiatus between seasons.

“There-s no denying, it has been a disappointing season for everyone involved in the Perth Glory,” Mr Sage said.

“In my view, the release of this report and the collective passion of everyone involved with the Club to embrace and institute its recommendations, will ensure we raise the bar and ensure a successful future for the Perth Glory Football Club,” Mr Sage concluded.

Mr Sage wishes to advise that the position of Director of Football is being abolished, and there for Mr David Mitchell will cease his employment with the football club effective immediately.

“I would like to thank Dave for this commitment to the club, but unfortunately the position of Football Director superfluous to requirements, as identified in the review,” Mr Sage said.