Thursday, June 15, 2006

Australian Federation extends control of Perth club

Football Federation Australia has announced a "path forward for Perth Glory" to sustain the owner-less club through its second season in the Hyundai A-League. According to FFA Head of Operations, Matt Carroll, the plan includes the creation of a Steering Committee oversee the operation of Perth Glory and the recruitment key senior management. A high caliber Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Operations Manager, Football Operations Manager, Media & Communications manager and a new Head Coach for Perth Glory will be sought immediately. The steering committee will comprise the new CEO, the Head Coach, a representative from Football West and Carroll himself.

The FFA agreed on 30 April to release the Glory’s initial owners prematurely from their five year Participation Agreement. FFA then immediately received expressions of interest from four parties, indicating their strong desire to take ownership of the Perth license. Throughout the course of May, the interested parties were extensively assessed based on: commercial viability; ability to own and operate a professional sports organisation; the apparent fit with the overarching A-league strategy; and the apparent fit with the Perth and Western Australian culture and supporter base. During this time, FFA personnel have reviewed all elements of the Perth Glory operation, to ensure that preparations continue to be progressed appropriately for Season II.

Two of the four parties progressed to formal applications. Late last month the Singapore-based World Sport Group withdrew their application citing issues with other aspects of their business. Discussions with the other applicant, a Perth-based consortium, Centerfield Investment, continue. At present, the conditions of assessment have not been fully satisfied by the Centerfield Investment bid and therefore discussions are ongoing in regard to a new owner of Perth Glory.

“While we had hoped to conclude the process of finding a new owner for Perth Glory by now, the FFA believes it is more important to install the right owner than to get it done quickly. Since the Pre-Season competition and the Hyundai A-League season are rapidly approaching, the FFA has taken the decision to continue managing Perth Glory until such time that a suitable owner is found,” said Carroll.

“This decision means that the FFA will proceed quickly to appoint people in key management positions to allow Perth Glory adequate time to prepare the players and club for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season. The FFA will ensure Perth Glory remains a viable and competitive club – with a strong affinity with the Perth Football (Soccer) community and the Western Australian Community at large – that will be of interest to potential investors in the future,“ concluded Carroll.

See also: World Sport Group rethinking its Perth Glory bid (27 May)

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