Posts tagged ‘perth glory’
Alistair Edwards has just made the boldest move in his A League coaching career, by signing his twenty-one year old son Cameron. It is a bold move because unfortunately it will see him accused of favouring his family, and will also see Cameron come under closer scrutiny than many of the other members of the Glory squad. Cameron is going to have to prove to many doubters that he is there on merit, and not just because his dad is the coach.
The last Glory coach to sign his son was Steve McMahon, who swore blindly that his son was good enough to play in the Hyundai A-League. Many begged to differ. He came to Perth from Blackpool, where again he signed for his father, and was voted by Tangerines fans as the worst Blackpool player in FourFourTwo magazine. Tough criticism to have to take.
Other players to have played for their father when he was coach are notably Darren Ferguson who played 27 times for father Alex at Manchester United, and Nigel Clough who played 403 times for father Brian at Nottingham Forest. His father always referring to him as ‘the Number 9′ to the press and never by his name. Kenny Dalglish had his son on the books of Liverpool when he was the Manager but never gave him a game. He did however sign him for Newcastle when he took over as Manager there and Paul made 14 appearances.
It is a tough gig playing for your father. If you struggle with form the accusations of nepotism soon surface. It can also make it awkward in the team dressing room, where the coach is not always popular. Other players loathe to speak up when the coach departs for fear of the son telling his father what was said. Having your son in your team and in your squad, puts him under a different kind of pressure, some cope some don’t.
Cameron Edwards has talent of that there can be no doubt. Technically he is very good on the ball, has great vision and a cultured left foot. He is able to pass with both feet and frequently makes himself available for the ball. There are two areas that he will need to improve on to establish himself in the A-League, and hopefully playing for his father he will be able to find these attributes. The first is physicality, Cameron is not a player who appears to enjoy a physical tussle and if an opponent closes down his space and dominates him physically he has been known to lose the individual battle. The other area is influencing the game when his team needs inspiration. He has the talent to turn a game with one pass, to carve an opening out of nothing, but several times when playing for the Glory Youth, when the team needed that moment of brilliance that he had the skills to deliver, it didn’t happen. Playing for his father he may be more confident to back himself and his ability, and we may yet see him influence the outcome of games by using that superb passing skill and vision.
Alistair and Cameron will both cop stick of that there can be no doubt, but hopefully both have the strength of character to pull through it. Hopefully both have discussed this issue before the contract was signed. Cameron has the tools to be a good player, he would not have been signed by Reading, or Melbourne Heart if he didn’t. Let us hope the fans give him the chance to express that talent, and justify his father’s faith before anyone makes any judgement on the two linking up.
It was amusing to read the ‘exclusive’ on the SBS website stating that Tony Sage may have to hand back his A League licence due to health issues. Whereas we would never wish the Perth Glory chairman ill health, it is far more likely that his business pressures are the reason for his withdrawal than any health issues. Then there is the possibility of a court case as a result of the raids made on his other businesses which are not related to the football club, by the Federal Police, the Australian Tax Office and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. (A New Year, A New Owner?)
As stated previously there have been questions raised for the past two to three months as to who is in fact running Perth Glory, and it appeared that it was not Tony Sage. The appointment of Alistair Edwards as coach for three years, the giving away of 10,000 free tickets among many other things caused raised eyebrows. Word from inside the Glory offices was Mr Sage returned from overseas and knew nothing about the ticket giveaway.
The most likely people running the club at the moment are the FFA, The Football Federation of Australia. They have stepped in and helped clubs in the past and did step in for a year and run Perth Glory when Nick Tana stepped aside, but now that they are the owners and the administrators of Western Sydney Wanderers they face a real dilemma. Under FIFA regulations no one owner is allowed to own two football clubs; especially not two competing in the same competition.
It would appear that behind the scenes as more and more Perth Glory staff leave, and we are not talking just about players, that the FFA may well be looking to have their state body run the club. Not The Footy Show hears that discussions are already in place about the two sharing certain roles, for example the youth development. It doesn’t benefit either party to be running programs in opposition. Now we hear that the media and marketing may well see staff shared.
This makes sense, but sadly there are a great deal of issues that are likely to be ice bergs in the waters ahead should this move really gain headway. These are two separate organisations with very different agendas, and there will be many occasions where there will be a conflict of interest working for both and staff will be forced to opt for one organisation over the other in terms of what action to take.
Football West is we believe currently a not for profit organisation, reliant on large sums of government funding. Surely if they move into administering a club such as Perth Glory they put both that funding and that status in jeopardy?
If the FFA through Football West are looking to set Perth Glory up as a community based club, one in which the community have some say as well as ownership and from which the football community will benefit from the club’s success and financial windfalls, then this is a model that would be worth exploring. Perth Glory need to re-engage the community, something they have failed to do during Mr Sage’s ownership.
What ever is going on behind the scenes let us hope that there is some transparency soon. The Perth Glory Fans, the games stakeholders, and everyone involved in the game deserve to know exactly who is pulling the strings and what is planned for the future. Hopefully that announcement will be made once the Grand Final is over, and the winning team has been able to steal as many headlines from the other codes as possible.
Perth Glory once again were the victims of a poor refereeing decision irrespective of whether they should have sealed the game prior to the last minute penalty being awarded to Melbourne Victory. The question is what is going to be done about it?
It is refreshing to hear coach Alistair Edwards who has only recently come out of the FFA’s employ quoted in The Australian newspaper as saying “I don’t want to come across as a grump but I can fully understand the rage that Perth Glory fans are feeling because it is happening far too often. The crucial decisions are going against the club. The fans are coming up to me and asking ‘why is it Perth Glory? Why isn’t it happening to Western Sydney, Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory?” A similar question that was asked on several occasions by former Glory coaches Ron Smith, David Mitchell and Ian Ferguson, but who were all told to stop whinging.
This writer is not a parochial supporter of all things Western Australian, but the FFA now have a serious problem. The perception has been for a long time that they are Sydney and Melbourne-centric, and that they would prefer to see finals played between teams from these two cities as it ensures a bigger crowd and is cheaper to stage in terms of flying staff, sponsors and other hangers on to the final. That perception is beginning to look like a reality.
They say that lightening does not strike twice in the same place, but in the A League it would appear to do so. Referee Jarrod Gillett who awarded a controversial penalty in the final minute of last years Grand Final to allow Brisbane Roar to take the title, – a penalty where we blamed the Glory defender for going to ground and giving Berisha the chance to dive – this year awarded one to give Melbourne Victory a last minute penalty to equalise. This one was never even close to being a penalty. Let us also not forget the controversial W-League semi final, where bizarrely after having walked back to the halfway line having had her penalty saved Melbourne Victory’s Jessica McDonald was told to re-take her penalty because the Glory ‘keeper, Kaitlyn Savage was deemed to have moved off her line. Replays proved the decision questionable. McDonald scored and Melbourne were in the Grand Final. A win to the Glory would have seen them host the Grand Final.
Club Captain Jacob Burns who has been a victim at times of reputation has spoken out, and is likely to be fined for his comments. A fine that hopefully the club will pay. “I don’t understand how a referee like Jarred Gillett gets our game again and how he can make such poor judgment once again.It’s ended our finals campaign and I don’t want to sound like sour grapes, but he’s got to hold up his hand and be accountable for some very, very poor decisions out there today for both teams.” Burns said and went on with “It can happen once, shame on us, but it’s happened twice,two years in a row in finals football. If this league wants to get better they’re going to have to start with the refereeing.It’s going the other way for me. That’s my personal opinion. It’s left a lot to be desired.”
It is time the club made a stand. This writer played in a cricket final many years ago in which the umpire made a decision that lost his team the final. The umpire admitted after the game that he had made a mistake – something it appears Mr Gillett is yet to do – and then admitted that he struggled to concentrate at times. Two years later we were in the final again, and the same umpire was appointed. A protest was lodged and the threat of not taking the field if he was umpiring was made. The said umpire being a decent man admitted what he had said two years before and stepped down. Perth Glory need to take a similar stance. Not only for the team and the fans but also for Gillett’s safety.
The frustrating thing is that there are solutions to avoid such things happening, including the one put forward on this site in 2009. See Blowing the Whistle.
The FFA can no longer bury their heads in the sand, the issue of refereeing standards needs to be addressed. The FFA also need to give serious thought as to how they can break down the belief held, not just in Perth, that the A-League, the FFA and Fox Sports are Sydney and Melbourne focussed. That will take a bit more work, but it needs to happen if the growing number of fans are to feel part of the game nationally.
Finals are a part of Australian sport, and they are here to stay. They also serve a very good purpose; in keeping the season interesting for teams whose season may well have already been over with no chance of winning anything.
There are many who have questioned the FFA opting to reward six out of the ten teams in the Hyundai A League with a finals berth, and the opportunity to be named the Champions of Australia. Something that even the confederation to which Australia belongs to, the AFC, fails to acknowledge, with the Asian Champions League place being given to the team that tops the League ladder.
The FFA have changed the finals format this season giving the top two teams very little benefit for their consistency all season, they lose one game and they are out. Gone is their second chance, a reward for their consistency.
Many believe that the changes have not gone far enough. With the sixth placed team, Perth Glory, being 25 points behind the ‘League Premiers’ Western Sydney Wanderers, maybe they have a point. The Premiers were even 22 points ahead of the fifth placed team, Brisbane Roar. This equates to winning eight and seven games more respectively, which is a huge amount.
In fact both of these two sides lost more games than they won all season, and therefore it seems a little strange that they should warrant a place in the finals and a chance to be crowned the Champions of Australia. Perth Glory won nine of their 27 games and lost 13, while Brisbane Roar won ten and lost 12. For the record all of the top four teams won more games than they lost.
There are many who believe the finals should be played between the top four, and played on a home and away basis with the aggregate score deciding the two finalists, the standings this year lend weight to that argument.
If the FFA wish to stick with six teams in the finals series maybe they should make it a requirement that to qualify the sides must have won more or at least as many games as they have lost to qualify. The big plus should such a rule be adopted is teams will have to play attacking football towards the end of the season to ensure they have the required number of victories.
Then again a top four in a ten team league seems a much simpler and fairer solution. As they say the League ladder seldom lies.
There is no doubt sports administrators in Australia do not like having better ways of doing things suggested, and when someone points out or suggests and alternative that person is then accused of knocking the sport and at times completely ostracised. In many cases you either tow the party line or are branded a rebel. Do as they say or face the consequences.
The performance of Adelaide United last night in the final round of the regular season of the Hyundai A League was a great argument as to why the Hyundai A League has to follow the lead of virtually ever football competition around the world, where all the games in the final round are played at the same time on the final day.
The argument as this writer found out in no uncertain terms when he raised it on air with Fox Sports is that this does not suit the broadcaster. However one has to ask what is more important, the integrity of the game or the fact that the broadcaster can show every game live? Which if such a format were introduced would be understandably very hard for Fox Sports.
Last night’s performance by Adelaide United was lacklustre, and that is being kind. Perth Glory needed a draw to deny Sydney FC a finals berth and it looked as if Adelaide were quite happy for them to achieve that goal and prevent Sydney a finals place. Had all the games been played at the same time each team in the hunt for a finals spot would have had to play their hearts out as they waited to hear how their competitors for those positions were getting on.
Germany played Austria at the World Cup in 1982 and a 1-0 win to Germany meant that both teams would progress at the expense of Chile and Algeria, and with Germany 1-0 up the game became a farce. As a result FIFA made all deciding games be played at the same time. Last night proved Australia must do the same.
It is good news for Perth Glory fans that Alistair Edwards has been appointed head coach for three years. It is also good for football in Western Australia.
One thing that Alistair indicated when he came on “Not The Footy Show” was that if he was to take the job he had to be given the time to turn the club around, and develop the talented youth from this state into regular first team players, alongside seasoned professionals. A three year contract is a step in the right direction, whether it is indeed long enough time will tell. Let us not forget Tony Popovic was given the security of a four year deal at Western Sydney Wanderers.
He has already signed a number of talent local players and has also worked hard to make the players aware of what it used to mean to play for Perth Glory. Alistair as well as being a former professional player who achieved cult status in Asia understands what it is to be a fan and what a football club means to fans of the game and that is a massive plus in his favour. It could well be one of the key reasons he succeeds.
As soon as he came into the club Alistair set about changing the culture that existed at the club, something any new coach would do, as the team and the way that they play will ultimately be a reflection of him as a coach. One thing that does seem evident is he has managed to implement change fairly quickly, which is again good news for the club as a whole. Most coaches take a good six months to a year to change things and have them done they way they see fit.
This is a very positive move if we are to see Perth Glory scale the heights of yesteryear on the pitch. There is still a great deal to be done off the pitch though to restore the club to former Glory days. The profile of the club is at its lowest. The lack of knowledge most young children have of the players and the team is scary. If the children of today are not following you where is the next generation of fans going to come from? There is a mountain to climb here and it will take both money and hard work to raise the profile of the club to where it should be, as well as clear and defined strategies. Hopefully these will be nutted out in the close season.
Finally, a question arises out of Edwards’ appointment, is the current owner going to be in charge next season? Tony Sage has frequently refused to give his coaches long term deals, in fact word is he did not even know that Ian Ferguson still had another year on his contract when he fired him. So why the change of heart, why suddenly give a coach a three year deal and not as before one dependent on making the finals? This appointment could be the first clue that come the 2013/14 A League season Perth Glory will be under new ownership or run by the FFA.
Should it be the latter, that itself will raise a few questions, as no owner is allowed to own two clubs according to FIFA and with the FFA running Western Sydney Wanderers they would then be managing two clubs in the one league. The FFA made a mess of the year they ran the club in the past, and their focus on saving money and not using the full salary club took the club two years to recover, so let us hope this signing does in fact indicate a new owner is waiting in the wings, rather than the FFA stewardship. It will certainly increase speculation that a new owner will be running teh club next season.
Ask most Chelsea fans who picked up more red cards Dennis Wise or Frank le Boeuf when playing for the Blues and most would go with the Englishman over the Frenchman, but they would be wrong.
A similar question could be asked in relation to who has been booked more times for diving in this season, PFA Player of the year Welshman Gareth Bale or Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. The answer is incredibly Gareth Bale. Bales has been booked on six occasions in the last 15 months, the last midweek in Spurs Europa Cup clash with Inter Milan, to Suarez’s two, the last in September 2012 against Sunderland.
Brendan Rodgers Liverpool’s manager raised the issue in the lead up to his side meeting Bale’s Tottenham Hotspur. He rightly or wrongly questioned whether the British press targeted foreign players and highlighted when they dived as opposed to home grown talent. The underlying message was the media can have an untold influence on perceptions.
This is not just a British trait, other players in leagues around the world have been labelled as ‘hard men’ when their record by comparison is far better than that of a player at another club; Perth Glory’s Jacob Burns has been one to suffer in such a way in the Hyundai A League, his reputation is far worse than his record for foul play. The same is true of some players being built up to be better than they actually are.
Interestingly, Dennis Wise probably suffered a little as at that time foreign players were just starting to come into the Premier League, so like with the Hyundai A League, they were immediately assumed to be more cultured footballers. Le Boeuf probably was technically a better player than Wise, but he was prone to a red mist descending over him and some pretty crude challenges.
What was good to hear with Suarez’ was how Rodgers came down hard on his when he admitted diving against Stoke City in an interview with Argentine television. Since then the player’s behaviour on the park has improved dramatically. How long will it take though for him to shrug off his reputation?
Some players will tell you, you will simply never change opinions, despite the facts.
For decades community radio has been the lifeblood of football in Australia. Understandably those running the game wanted to take it to a more mainstream audience by having the game and relevant programmes on commercial radio to take it to a wider audience, but in many cases it was given nothing more than lip service and played second fiddle to AFL and NRL.
One thing that was initially forgotten was the support the game had received from community stations and how these stations had built up a loyal following who supported the game and trusted those broadcasters, knowing that many did it purely for the love of the game or enough money for a couple of beers and a toasted sandwich.
It is therefore disappointing to hear that Coast FM on the Central Coast who have covered every season of the Central Coast Mariners A League existence will not be able to broadcast their Asian Champions League game against Suwon Bluewings at Blue Tongue Stadium tonight. In the first two seasons of the Hyundai A-League when 990am Information radio was the sole broadcaster of Perth Glory games, Coast FM picked up our broadcasts and the two stations shared a healthy relationship, both trying to promote the game and a fledging league when commercial radio had no interest.
The reason that they are unable to broadcast tonight comes down to broadcast rights and being unable to afford the requested fee believed to be in the region of $10,000. This is where the game has gone mad. Understandably the AFC want to bring in as much revenue as possible and broadcast rights plat a large part in that revenue stream, but Central Coast Mariners fans expect their regular broadcaster to be able to to bring them these games.
Let’s face it the Asian Champions League has far from captured the imagination of the average Australian football fan, mainly because we know little about the teams from other countries and probably because so far apart from Adelaide United Australian teams have not fared too well in the competition. Therefore would you once again not welcome any publicity you can give the league, and therefore help Coast FM broadcast the game? You are then helping raise the profile of the Asian Champions League and keeping the fans happy.
Surely common sense should prevail and the benefits of allowing them to broadcast be looked at, as they far outweigh any reason to prevent them. Without the support of stations such as Coast FM and other community stations football would have received little air time in Australia in the past 20-30 years, therefore it is important to make sure that they continue to support the game, and help them in times such as these.
There is no doubt that Football West’s video clip pushing for a Home of Football has sparked conversation on not only a home for the game, but also the game as a whole. It has also, as one would expect, invoked a great deal of passion in many.
The one thing that it has brought to the fore is that how the game is perceived by many could well be what is holding it back, and may well be why Politicians to date have ignored the pleas to find Football a home in the West.
It was on John O’Connell’s International Football Show on 990am Information Radio soon after he became Chairman of Football West, that former Minister for Sport Bob Kucera declared that during his time in Politics there was no intention to give financial support to the game when it was so fractured. In those days each segment was run independently, Juniors, Amateurs, Women’s leagues and the State League. Which with hindsight, the position taken by the Government then makes sense.
In 2004 Football West was founded and all of the different areas of the game were brought under one roof. Interestingly at the time most welcomed the move, although as time has passed, as is to be expected some feel that their section of the game is not getting enough attention. This was inevitable, and any CEO taking on the task of running the game must be aware that they are never going to be able to keep everybody happy at the same time.
What many other sports administrators and politicians fail to realise is Football gives its players and support staff more opportunities to play internationally and represent their state or country than any other sport in Australia. Apart from the senior representative sides football has women’s sides through all age groups, teams for those with disabilities, if you are blind or deaf, whether you want to play on the beach or indoors (Futsal). Each of these formats of the game gives people the chance to represent Australia and Western Australia. No other sport offers such opportunities. So understandably administering so many areas and keeping everyone happy is no easy task.
So with so much opportunity in the game, why does it still fail to receive the acknowledgement that it deserves? Could it be petty jealousy? That because it offers so many opportunities other sports are envious?
Mr Kucera’s comments are probably closest to giving lovers of the game an insight. For many years football was run, kept alive, and at times held back by the fact that the game was built on immigrants moving to the country and the clubs based on these migrants’ ethnicity. These clubs still exist but they have evolved any who are hoping to survive purely based on their ethnic past, simply will not survive. Times have changed, yet many outside of the game fail to accept this.
Football sadly since the dawn of the FFA, at a time when it should be driving forward in leaps and bounds still manages to shoot itself in the foot. It is under the spotlight more than many other game because other codes are envious of its appeal and its participation rates, and that is why the game has to make sure when it makes decisions it makes the right ones.
Football rightly or wrongly is judged by the game at the elite level, how the Socceroos are performing, how the A-League is going and in Perth how Perth Glory is perceived and doing in the national competition.
The fact that the Hyundai A League, created in 2005, has seen three teams fold in eight seasons is not good for the game; Especially compared to other codes. The way in which some of these clubs have finished their time in the A-League, has definitely not been good for the game. The constant speculation over ownership of clubs and the fact that the game’s governing body has had to step in and help run five clubs does not help the image of the game. The fact that the game’s governing body is actually paying or contributing to the wages of some players at privately run clubs does not help the game’s image.
Closer to home the decline of Perth Glory has undoubtedly rocked Football West’s push for a home for football. What was once the hottest ticket in town is now in a position where it is often hard to give tickets away. The negative publicity that the club has attracted through some of the actions of its owner Tony Sage, will have definitely harmed the image of the game and the willingness of Politicians to be seen to be giving the game money, especially if the A League club is to benefit from such funding by having offices in the new Home of Football.
Here again Football West is in an unenviable position, they are trying to create pathways for their players to win contracts at the highest level in Western Australia with Perth Glory, yet under the current regime their relationship with the A League club could well be something that is holding them back in terms of receiving funding. How best do they serve the game? Creating the pathways for future players, or pulling back in their relationship to gain funding for a Home of Football?
One thing however is obvious, Football has to somehow change the perception people outside of the game have of it. If that goal cannot be achieved then it will be continually having to fight for what by rights it deserves. Sadly slogans such as ‘the Football Family’ are not enough, the game has to educate politicians, and key decision makers that it is bigger and offers more employment worldwide and more international opportunities than any other sport, and make them reach a position where to not back the game would be downright foolish.
It is not going to be easy, as there are some narrow-minded, stubborn and self-serving people out there who are going to be extremely hard to bring around to this way of thinking. However if that can be achieved, and the image and perception of the game changed, then the dream will be realised one day.