Perth Glory FC
|Full name||Perth Glory Football Club|
|Founded||1 December 1995|
|Head Coach||Richard Garcia|
|2020–21||9th of 12|
|Active departments of|
Perth Glory Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in Perth, Western Australia. It competes in the country's premier men's competition, A-League Men, under licence from Australian Professional Leagues (APL).
Founded in 1995, Perth Glory is one of three A-League clubs to survive from the now-defunct National Soccer League (NSL), playing their debut match in this competition in October 1996 for the 1996–97 season. Perth established itself as a major side within Australian soccer in the final seasons of this league, with managers Bernd Stange and Mich d'Avray leading the club to three league Premierships and two Championships from four grand final appearances within a five season period. Since entering the A-League as one of the eight original teams in 2004, the club has won a further Premiership and appeared in two more grand finals under the management of Tony Popovic and Ian Ferguson. The club has also appeared in the AFC Champions League once and appeared in two FFA Cup finals and two A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup finals.
The club plays its home matches at Perth Oval, currently known as HBF Park for sponsorship purposes, a 20,500-seat stadium on Lord Street in Perth's city centre. Perth has used this stadium as their home ground since their inception.
Perth's main supporters' group is known as the "Glory Shed Supporters Club", named after "The Shed", a terrace at the club's home ground. The club has rivalries with Wellington Phoenix, known as "The Distance Derby", Gold Coast United, named the "Iron Ore Cup", and the Melbourne Knights. The club's all-time leading goalscorer is Bobby Despotovski, with 129 goals to his name in all competitions. Jamie Harnwell holds the record for most matches played, with 256 appearances for the Glory.
Perth first showed interest in joining the National Soccer League (NSL) prior to its inaugural year in 1977. However, a series of logistical problems and financial concerns meant that the league was not keen to include a Western Australian (WA) side. While the state representative side continued to perform well in national and international cup competitions, WA continued to be unrepresented at a senior club level until 1994.
In 1994, a group of businessmen led by Joe Claudio formed the Perth Kangaroos IFC. The club competed in the 1994 Singapore Premier League along with the Darwin Cubs. At the time, there were visions of establishing an Asia-Pacific Super League which could become a sporting and financial empire in the east. It turned out to be something of a farce. The Kangaroos finished the league season undefeated and easily won the Singapore league title. However, with dwindling support and resources, the experiment proved to be a financial disaster and Perth Kangaroos IFC soon folded.
Early seasons (1995–98)
In 1995, another consortium led by Nick Tana made a bid for entry into the National Soccer League. Perth Glory was subsequently licensed to join the 1996–97 NSL season and on 1 December 1995 the club was officially launched. From a relatively unheralded start, the club would develop beyond all expectations and help commercially re-establish Association football in a state where Australian rules football dominates the media and Rugby league was commercially about to fail. Former Adelaide City player and Perth Kangaroos coach Gary Marocchi was appointed coach for the first two seasons and won many fans with his bold, attacking style. Initially believed to be nothing more than a token participant, Perth surprised many by only just missing the cut for the finals; finishing 7th and 8th in 1996–97 and 1997–98 respectively. The exciting style of "you score three, we score four" drew fans – including many British expatriates.
In the Glory's inaugural season, players such as NSL-title-winning sweeper Vinko Buljubašić, Perth-based striker Bobby Despotovski and young local star Vas Kalogeracos were brought into the team and achieved cult status. New Zealand international Gavin Wilkinson was also signed while local midfielder Gareth Naven was appointed captain. In their first match in the NSL, Perth Glory lost to Sydney Olympic 4–1, with veteran Scot Alan MacKenzie scoring the first goal for Glory and Doug Ithier winning the first Man-of-the-Match award. Large crowds and good results soon followed with an exciting win over defending champions, the Melbourne Knights, thrilling a huge crowd. Glory needed only a point in their final match of the season but were defeated by the Knights and fell just short of making the finals. Glory midfielder Paul Strudwick was sent off during the match in controversial circumstances while trouble in the crowd also marred the match.
In the 1997–98 season, despite again narrowly missing the top six and signing more high-profile players like Ernie Tapai, Danny Hay and Nigerians Samson Siasia and Peter Anosike, it was a disappointing season for the Glory.
Stange era (1998–2001)
Fan support was further consolidated in the era of Bernd Stange. The former East German national coach became a media star after replacing Gary Marocchi who was sacked. Mich d'Avray, a former England under-21 international was appointed as Stange's assistant coach.
In his first season, Stange had taken Glory to their first-ever finals series and had fallen in the preliminary final against Sydney United. With new signings John Markovski and Con Boutsianis fitting straight into the side, local player Jamie Harnwell started to develop into a key defender and made the step to replace the injured Vinko Buljubašić. Unfortunately, a horror form slump at the height of summer denied the Glory a top-two place but massive crowds still attended their two home finals at the WACA Ground against Adelaide City and Marconi Stallions.
In the following season, Glory recruited young players Ivan Ergić, Jason Petković and Olyroo Kasey Wehrman. The club finished first in the regular season and were crowned minor premiers for the first time, allowing them to enter the final series at the major semifinal. In the finals series, the Glory lost to Wollongong Wolves 1–0 at Brandon Park, the Wolves' home ground, in the first leg of the major semifinal. The second leg of the major semifinal was held at Subiaco Oval, rather than their regular venue Perth Oval, to accommodate an expected larger crowd. In the match, Perth Glory won 2–0 over the Wolves, 2–1 on aggregate, to qualify for the grand final. The crowd of 42,764 was an Australian record for a club soccer match. In the wake of the record crowd, the Western Australian government announced a purpose-built stadium for the Glory in central Perth. The 1999/2000 grand final is remembered as one of the most thrilling matches in NSL history. Perth again faced the Wolves and led 3–0 at half time against a miserable Wolves outfit; thinking the game was won, Stange substituted key Glory players Scott Miller, Bobby Despotovski and Ivan Ergić. Yet, the Wolves rallied superbly and Perth experienced a series of defensive blunders to be pegged back to 3–3 at full-time. Perth subsequently lost on penalties, but this defining moment galvanised the team and would be a motivating force for years to come. James Afkos, a young defender and son of Glory co-owner Paul Afkos saw his penalty saved, which gave the win to the Wolves. The Wolves side also featured players such as Scott Chipperfield, Sašo Petrovski as well as Matt Horsley and Stuart Young who would go on to play with the Glory in later years. The loss was a crushing blow to Glory but the team had done well despite problems Stange had with stars such as Vas Kalogeracos and Con Boutsianis who had both left the club. Stange had also been told midway through the season that his contract would not be renewed—but well-organised supporter protest and media pressure forced Tana to change his mind and publicly announce the U-turn before a home match against the Canberra Cosmos.
In spite of the loss, Stange was popular with the public but his time had come by the end of the 2000/01 season. Glory was too inconsistent during the season, suffering from more player disharmony involving Stange's tactics, and falling just short of a top-two spot. Glory had at times played good attacking football but proved unable to do so consistently. In the finals series, the Glory once again came up against the Melbourne Knights and drew 0–0 in Melbourne despite having Jamie Harnwell sent off. Following the match Melbourne Knights fans attacked the team and their bus as they tried to leave Sunshine Stadium. It is believed that the fans were angered by a Serbian salute made by Bobby Despotovski towards Melbourne Knights fans, a club who traditionally has a large Croatian support base. In the return leg Glory were eliminated following a 2–2 draw. The Knights had gone into an early lead with goals in slippery conditions before two late goals to the Glory but it wasn't enough with the Knights winning through the away goal rule. Despite signing high-profile recruits such as Damian Mori (who had formed a prolific partnership with Bobby Despotovski upfront) and Brad Maloney while also holding onto young star Ljubo Miličević the Glory had underachieved and Stange was sacked by Nick Tana.
D'Avray era and end of NSL (2001–04)
Despite the flair of Stange's reign, it would take the more tactical approach of Mich d'Avray to finally win the NSL Championship. While less flamboyant than his predecessor, d'Avray successfully transformed the team with a different strategy to the previous coaches. The attacking 5–3–2, which saw almost as many goals conceded as scored, was replaced with a 4–4–2. Some may argue that the team began to play a less attractive form of the game, but nobody could argue with the results. In 2001/2, the team nearly went the entire season undefeated with a side that only had former Adelaide City midfielder Brad Hassell as a major addition. After scraping through in the second leg of the major semi-final against Newcastle, Glory faced Sydney Olympic in the grand final at a sold-out Subiaco Oval. While the 2000 Final was one of the great games of domestic Australian association football, the 2002 final was a tight and tense affair with Glory hardly getting a shot on target due to the fact that they lacked any bite in the midfield and had their two strikers marked out of the game. Ante Milicic was on target for Olympic though and his goal early in the second half was enough for Olympic to win 1–0 and break the hearts of Glory fans once again.
Maloney left the club at the end of the 2002 season but his replacement proved to be a key in Glory finally getting that elusive title. German midfielder Andre Gumprecht was brought into the club thanks to Stange and made an instant impact. With the NSL disintegrating around them, Glory and Olympic were the only two semi-decent teams still left in the league to galvanise their midfield and fought it out for top spot all season. Glory missed out on the league title, finishing one point behind Olympic. In March 2003, the NSL stripped the club of three points after ruling that Gumprecht had been played before he had been registered. Glory picked up Socceroo Simon Colosimo halfway through the season and eventually won the right to host the 2003 Grand Final after coming out on top of a new, confusing and convoluted league table finals format that had dragged a poor season out. In the Grand Final Glory took the game to Olympic and following a headed goal from in the first half from Harnwell it was all over late in the match when Mori saw his shot dribble over the line in dramatic fashion. 2–0 was the end result and d'Avray had delivered the Grand Final victory Glory had yearned for.
In the final NSL season in 2003–04, Glory only had Parramatta Power as a huge threat with the Western Sydney club buying up big for the season. Players like Fernando Rech, Michael Beauchamp and Ante Miličić were brought in along with Glory midfielders Gumprecht and Colosimo in what seemed to be a huge blow to the champions. In response to the plundering of their engine room d'Avray signed up Sydney Olympic title winners Tom Pondeljak, Wayne Srhoj and Jade North while also getting former Socceroo defender and West Australian Shaun Murphy back from the United Kingdom. In a season where Glory again went head to head with a team from Sydney, Parramatta beat the Glory at home 4–2 and then away 2–0 to host the final ever NSL Grand Final. Glory thrashed Adelaide United in the preliminary final and faced Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium to try and go for back to back victories. In the pouring rain, Parramatta were brought down to the level of their opponents and scrapped for every ball in a match devoid of many chances. Mori wasted two sitters before young striker Nick Mrđa nailed a shot past Clint Bolton to claim the golden goal and win the match for Glory and their second NSL title. It was around 2001 that the league showed signs of significant deterioration. A combination of central mismanagement, conflicts of interest and poor sponsorship would eventually lead to a government inquiry and the removal of the leadership of Soccer Australia. Eventually, the relaunched and renamed Football Federation Australia announced the creation of the A-League in 2005. The financial backing and business nous of chairman Nick Tana had ensured the viability and success of the club during the earlier dire times – and ensured it a place in the future of the game in Australia.
Decline and ownership troubles (2005–09)
In January 2005, former Liverpool and England star Steve McMahon was appointed as coach. The club changed its name from the Perth Glory Soccer Club to the Perth Glory Football Club with a new logo being unveiled at a season launch in February. The 2005–06 season saw a complete overhaul of the playing squad, with Simon Colosimo and former Sunderland and Leeds striker Brian Deane as key signings. Other notable signings included future young stars Nick Ward and Billy Celeski. Early results in friendlies against local opposition were not great, but Perth became the first team to defeat Sydney FC, winning 1–0 in the semi-final of the 2005 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup before losing in the final 0–1 to the Central Coast Mariners. Perth's woeful recruiting strategy was soon evident with the early departure of star import Brian Deane after seven games. Another McMahon recruit, Northern Ireland junior international Neil Teggart, quit the club prior to the start of the regular season. Deane was replaced by Damian Mori, a former Perth Glory striker. Originally on a three-game temporary contract, after some impressive performances Mori stayed for the rest of the season and finished with seven goals. However, the club continued to be dogged by problems which would only be later revealed to the public. Steve McMahon was subject to constant media criticism over his coaching style and was accused of nepotism by signing his son, Steve McMahon Jr, who was of questionable talent. Rumours also surfaced that players were planning to stage a revolt against the coach. On 7 December, the club reported that the parties had "amicably" chosen to go separate ways. On 9 December 2005, the club announced that assistant coach Alan Vest would move into the head coach role for the remainder of the season, with striker Damian Mori taking on a dual role as player-coach after being named as his assistant. The coach's departure was merely a symptom of deeper troubles. Poor performances saw Perth miss out on qualification for the finals for the first time since 1998. Dwindling support from chairman Nick Tana, as he looked to sell his 75 percent stake in the club, seemed to underpin a general decline in club fortunes. After the Round 20 match against Sydney FC, Alan Vest hinted that the current player group were incapable of achieving anything better and stated that "cliques" had been formed undermining club harmony. To cap off a bad season, Western QBE announced they were withdrawing as major sponsor after being associated with the club for 8 years.
On 1 May 2006, Football Federation Australia relieved owner Nick Tana of ownership and management of Perth Glory. The 2006–07 season saw a host of changes. In July 2006, Australian international Stan Lazaridis signed a two-year deal. This was quickly followed by the appointment of Ron Smith as head coach and Michelle Phillips as CEO on 26 July. Unfortunately, star youth player Nick Ward did not honour his two-year contract and defied the advice of the FFA and left for Queens Park Rangers in England. In a major bonus for the Glory, longtime partner and sponsor Western QBE Insurance gave a show of faith and signed on as the club's major sponsor in round 18, until the end of the 2007–2008 season. Western QBE had previously been sponsor of the club since 1998, but decided against resigning a deal at the start of the 2006–2007 season, leaving the Glory in a very tough situation- without any sponsor or owners. But in December 2006, signs were shown that owners had been found by the FFA, and so Western QBE were reinstated. The FFA (holders of the Perth Glory licence) announced on 23 February 2007 that the Glory was to be handed over to a triumvirate of owners: Tony Sage, Brett McKeon and John Spence. This announcement ended almost a year of uncertainty. The new Glory owners were ambitious in their plans, bringing new hope to a club that was somewhat poor, both off the field and on, in 2006–07 season.
The 2007–08 season saw the arrivals of new, promising additions to the side. The Glory signed Anthony Danze, Billy Celeski, Dino Djulbic, AIS graduate Jimmy Downey, Naum Sekulovski, former Perth Soccer Club and Young Socceroos goalkeeper Tando Velaphi, Nikita Rukavytsya, Sydney FC player Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Milton Keynes Dons winger Nick Rizzo, Croatian striker Mate Dragičević, Hayden Foxe, Mitchell Prentice and striker James Robinson. Probably the biggest coup for the Glory for the 2007–08 season was the signing of a one-year sponsorship deal with Singapore listed steel manufacturer Delong Holdings, worth A$750,000, one of the biggest in the A-League, who featured on the back of the Glory jersey. In the 2007 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup, the Glory surprised many by making it to their second final, despite not playing a single game in Western Australia, which they lost 1–2 against Adelaide United. The new league season started poorly for the Glory, winless after 12 rounds and attracting only four-figure attendances. As a result, Ron Smith came under increasing pressure from fans and the media to deliver results. The team struggled to score goals, with Mate Dragičević in particular becoming a figure of derision. Glory legend Bobby Despotovski publicly called for Smith to be replaced, and on 4 November, Smith was sacked as manager. David Mitchell was handed the caretakers role for the rest of the season. The bold new era of Perth Glory began the same day, when it was announced the Glory were forming a strategic alliance with English Premier League club Manchester City. A 4–1 thrashing of Newcastle in Mitchell's debut match bode well for times ahead, with Glory's first win at home in a year against Melbourne and Glory's first-ever league win over Sydney. Mitchell won four and drew two of the remaining 10 games of the 2007–08 season, with the club finishing 7th overall.
The 2008–09 season preparations began much earlier than past seasons, with Perth Glory going on a three-game tour of China in March, consisting of matches against Changchun Yatai, Guangzhou City and Guangzhou Football Club. Perth Glory also made multiple new signings, including released Eugene Dadi, Adriano Pellegrino, Adrian Trinidad, Josip Magdić, Naum Sekulovski, Brazilian international midfielder Amaral, youngster Scott Bulloch and former Glory midfielder Wayne Srhoj. Perth finished the season in 7th place, with 22 points. Glory once again started the season poor, though they did however finish the second half of the season strongly, winning 4 matches and drawing 3, securing 15 points in the last 11 rounds since November. In November, head coach Dave Mitchell signed a contract extension securing his services till the end of the 2010/11 season. Mitchell's contract extension, despite Glory's slow start, showed the new direction Glory's club was heading, of vision, but built on stable foundations. Promising signs on and off the field were shown this season and things progressed further with Tony Sage taking sole ownership of the club at season's end.
Back to Glory (2009–13)
Former Perth Glory co-owner Brett McKeon sold his shareholding in the club to Tony Sage in February 2009, making Sage the sole owner of the club. Following this Sage has invested money into the club for the 2009–10 season including a number of wholesale changes to operations, marketing, players and staff. As part of Glory's pre-season campaign, the club hosted English Premier League clubs Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Fulham FC as well as new A-League franchise North Queensland Fury for friendly matches in Perth in July. Although Glory went down 1–0 and 5–0 to Wolverhampton and Fulham respectively the event was a success attracting an average of 13,000 fans to Perth Oval for both matches. Perth Glory continued their pre-season in Mandurah with a 1–0 victory against North Queensland Fury featuring Fury's marquee signing Robbie Fowler. For season 2009–10, Perth Glory had undertaken an overhaul of the club badge and playing kit, which includes vertical white and purple stripes on their home kit for the first time in the club's history. Tony Sage's promise to invest in the club by spending the full amount of money on players allocated under the A-League's salary cap rule had eventuated with the club making key signings. Victor Sikora was signed in February 2009 following a short term stint at Glory on loan from FC Dallas during the latter part of the 2008–09 A-League season. Further international players were added to the squad with Serbian striker Branko Jelić signed on a 3-year deal from Energie Cottbus and Englishman Andy Todd joining from Derby County. Following up on an early season promise by Tony Sage to sign Socceroo players, Perth Glory had successfully secured the services of Jacob Burns. In June 2009, in a bold move to attract attention for 2010 FIFA World Cup selection, Mile Sterjovski joined the club on a marquee contract, while Chris Coyne also announced his intentions by returning to his hometown club. Perth Glory's first match of the 2009–10 A-League season was played away at Hindmarsh Stadium against Adelaide United on 7 August 2009. This was the first season that Perth made the finals series in the A-League, finishing 5th on the ladder. The Glory were knocked out in the elimination final against Wellington Phoenix on penalties.
At the beginning of the 2010–11 season, Perth signed ex-North Queensland Fury manager Ian Ferguson as the assistant coach, despite rumours circulating that Ferguson and new Glory signing Robbie Fowler had a bad working relationship whilst at North Queensland Fury. Glory signed veteran Jamie Harnwell to a new one-year deal for the 2010–11 season. The club also went on to sign Perth products Jamie Coyne and Todd Howarth to contract extensions, before signing left-back Josh Mitchell and striker Michael Baird, who had played together for Romanian club Universitatea Craiova. On 27 April 2010, it was announced that Fowler had agreed to become part of Glory's squad for the 2010–11 A-League season. Fowler reportedly rejected offers from Middle East clubs to stay in Australia after enjoying his time in the country. After an initial strong start to the season as equal-top after a 5-game undefeated streak, Glory lost four matches in a row, forcing David Mitchell to step down as coach, with assistant coach Ian Ferguson becoming his replacement on 12 October 2010. After the managerial change, Glory lost another 3 games, to make it 7 losses consecutively. Glory finished second last in the season, after losing their last 5 games.
Perth Glory's 2011–12 season featured several high-profile signings with Ian Ferguson signing a large number of overseas and local players, including former Adelaide United player Travis Dodd, former Gold Coast United players Bas van den Brink and Shane Smeltz, Brazilian player Andrezinho, Irish international Liam Miller and former Ireland Under 21s player Billy Mehmet. Several players were let go, including Robbie Fowler and Jamie Coyne. In the pre-season, Perth played Scottish giants Celtic FC in front of 15,000 fans, with the Glory losing the friendly 0–2. Perth Glory's first match of the season was against Adelaide United at nib Stadium, which they won 1–0. They later went on to defeat Wellington Phoenix 1–0, to make it three wins in a row. Glory again slumped in form, winning one out of their last 9 matches including 7 defeats. With pressure mounting on coach Ian Ferguson, on 19 December 2011, Glory Owner Tony Sage threatened to leave the club at the end of the season. However, after apologising and dismissing his threats as an emotional outburst, Glory went out to win 9 of their last 15 and finished third on the ladder, qualifying for the finals series for the second time in their A-League history. Glory's finals series kicked off with a 3–0 victory over Melbourne Heart in a match at nib stadium. The semifinal was against their rivals Wellington at nib stadium, which the Glory won 3–2 in extra time. Perth then went to Bluetongue Stadium to play Central Coast Mariners in the preliminary final, the match the Glory won 1–1 (5–3, on penalties) to qualify for their first A-League Grand Final. Against the Brisbane Roar, in front of 50,334 people at Suncorp Stadium, Perth went up 1–0 in the 53rd minute of the match. However, Brisbane's Besart Berisha equalised in the 84th minute and eventually scored the winner in the dying seconds of the game through a controversial penalty. Jacob Burns was awarded the Joe Marston Medal for player of the match after it was accidentally awarded to Brisbane player, Thomas Broich.
For the 2012–13 season the Perth Glory owner, Tony Sage, put several players on reduced deals in order to save money. However, some players, such as Andrezinho and Scott Neville, did not accept the offers. Perth Glory also embarked on signing youth, players Chris Harold and Adrian Zahra were signed, while Brandon O'Neill and Ndumba Makeche were promoted from the youth squad. Perth Glory also won the Grand Final re-match, One goal to Nil, in Round One of the season to hand "revenge" to the Rado Vidošić led Brisbane Roar. A string of poor performance throughout the season saw Ian Ferguson sacked and replaced by former Perth Glory player, Alistair Edwards. The club would then produce a string of good performances to make the finals before being eliminated at the hands of Melbourne Victory, losing 1–2.
At the beginning of the 2013–14 season, the club decided to dedicate the number 12 shirt to the fans by not registering it to a player and having it listed as 'Glory Fans' when the squad is announced on match days. Alistair Edwards was sacked as Manager on 17 December 2013, and replaced on an interim basis by Kenny Lowe. Many fans blamed Jacob Burns for the sacking of Alistair Edwards (with rumours of him being the leader of the uprising against Edwards). The club would finish 8th in another disappointing season, with at one stage, the club was sitting at the bottom of the table.
Lowe era (2013–18)
The 2014–15 season showed much signs of promise. Irish international Andy Keogh, Dutch international Youssouf Hersi and returning goalkeeper Danny Vukovic joined the squad in what would be Kenny Lowe's first full season as coach. Glory started the season on a high, quickly becoming league leaders and managing a run in the inaugural 2014 FFA Cup that reached the final. Although they lost the cup final 1–0 to Adelaide United, it did not diminish their efforts in the league. However, the season quickly turned sour when Fairfax Media reported Glory had gone over the salary cap. Football Federation Australia investigated the claims before finding that the club had breached the salary cap by $400,000. As a result of the salary cap violations the club received a $269,000 fine and was disqualified from the 2015 finals series (resulting compulsory 7th-place finish despite ending the season in third place). On 16 April 2015, Perth's chief executive Jason Brewer announced his resignation. He was replaced by Peter Filopoulos.
The 2015–16 season was mostly a success, with the newly signed Diego Castro winning the Johnny Warren Medal for the A-League best player. The club finished 5th, before losing 2–0 to the 3rd place Melbourne City FC away from home. In the FFA Cup the Glory again made the final, before going down 2–0 to Melbourne Victory FC.
The 2016–17 season started well with the signings of defender Rhys Williams from English club Middlesbrough and promising 19-year-old midfielder Brandon Wilson, as well as the resigning of reigning Johnny Warren Medalist Diego Castro. After an inconsistent season the club finished 5th, with Castro sharing the club Golden Boot with Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart. They again faced Melbourne City in the elimination final, with the club shock winners 2–0 away from home to set up a semi-final with the newly crowned A-League Premiers Sydney FC. Sydney took a 3–0 halftime lead which they never relinquished, the Glory falling one game short of their second A-League Grand Final.
The 2017–18 season got off to a very bad start, the club losing 1–0 in the first round of the FFA Cup to NPL Victoria club Heidelberg United, despite twin Spanish signings of Andreu Guerao and Xavi Torres, as well as Mitch Nichols and Scott Neville. After slumping to a 6–0 defeat mid-season at the hands of Sydney FC the Glory, and with mounting pressure on coach Kenny Lowe after entering into a battle for bottom spot on the ladder, the Glory signed Neil Kilkenny from Melbourne City whose arrival provided much needed strength in the midfield and coincided with a positive turnaround in form. After defeating eventual Grand Finalists Melbourne Victory FC and Newcastle Jets FC in the closing rounds, the Glory entered the final round with a win against the Brisbane Roar at home netting them the last spot in the finals. The Glory went down 2–3, slumping to 8th position on the ladder. Following a mostly unsuccessful season coach Kenny Lowe was removed as coach and CEO Peter Filopoulos resigned to move back to Victoria to take up the CEO role with Football Federation Victoria, but not before (alongside Head of Football, Jacob Burns) overseeing the appointment of new head coach, Tony Popovic. During Peter's time as CEO, membership grew by 50%, the club moved into a new training and administration HQ sharing with Western Force and the club business operations improved significantly. Kenny Lowe took up a role as technical director of the club's junior academy. In May 2018, Tony Pignata replaced Peter Filopoulos as CEO of the club. In November, it was confirmed that former player Steven McGarry will become the Technical Director within Glory's youth structure, at the same time leading the Under-18 team. Former player Richard Garcia was also confirmed as assistant coach of both the senior team and head coach of the youth team.
Popovic era and the return of success (2018–20)
The 2018–19 season showed many signs of promise. New players were brought into the squad including three-time A-League champion Ivan Franjic, former Socceroo Tomislav Mrcela, Western Sydney's all-time top goal scorer Brendon Santalab, Champions League winner Matthew Spiranovic, former Premier League player Jason Davidson, Socceroo Chris Ikonomidis and former La Liga player Juande. The season started with a pre-season friendly loss against Chelsea, with the match ending 0–1. Popovic's first competitive game in charge was an FFA Cup fixture in the Round of 32 against Melbourne Victory, where the Glory lost 0–1. Perth started the regular A-League season strongly not losing their opening eight fixtures, the only team to do so that season. With two games to spare, Perth Glory confirmed their place at the top of the A-League, becoming the 2018–19 Premiers with a 1–0 win over Newcastle Jets, ending a 15-year trophy drought. The regular season ended with Perth winning 18 out of 27 matches in the league and only losing three games total, with only one away from home, earning a club record of 60 points overall. This also secured them a spot in their first continental competition, the 2020 AFC Champions League. Perth Glory also reached their second A-League Grand Final ever, after defeating Adelaide United in the semi-final. The semi-final saw Perth achieve a 2–0 lead in the 74th minute, with two goals from Diego Castro, followed by a come back from Adelaide, to make the game go into extra time. In extra time, Scott Neville scored a header for Perth, which was followed by a goal from Michael Marrone to make the score 3–3 after extra time. The penalty shoot-out saw Liam Reddy save four penalties to win it for Perth 5–4. The Grand Final, played against 2nd-placed Sydney, was hosted in Perth for the first time in the A-League era and the fourth time overall, with a record-breaking attendance of 56,371. Despite many chances for Perth to score and a controversial goal disallowed for being offside for Sydney, the game went goalless after extra-time. The penalty shoot-out ended 4–1 in Sydney's favour.
For the 2019–20 season, new, promising players were brought into the squad. In March 2019, Perth confirmed they had signed Melbourne City FC striker Bruno Fornaroli on a two-year deal. Perth also signed Brisbane Roar pair Dane Ingham and Nicholas D'Agostino, Sydney FC fan favourite Jacob Tratt, defender Kim Soo-beom, former Melbourne City defender Osama Malik, Swiss international Gregory Wüthrich and Socceroo James Meredith. Pre-season involved a friendly against Premier League giants, Manchester United. Despite Perth's strong defence in the first half of the match, United were too much for them in the second with their new squad, with goals from Marcus Rashford and James Garner sealing a 2–0 defeat. In the FFA Cup, Perth went down 1–2 in the round of 32 against the Western Sydney Wanderers. Following a poor start to the season, the Glory went on a ten match undefeated streak, which included a 6–2 win against the Newcastle Jets, moving into 2nd place after a 1–1 draw against Brisbane Roar in round 20. In February, Tony Sage confirmed that a majority of his stake in the club was set to be sold to the London Football Exchange, a football-based cryptocurrency exchange, a deal that eventually fell through due to growing speculation over the legitimacy of the sale. A drop in form occurred before the season was temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as a 0–1 loss in the Glory's debut in the AFC Champions League against FC Tokyo. After the restart of the season, the Glory lost key players, such as Wuthrith and Castro, due to the ending of contracts and the inability of the club to meet wage demands due to the loss of revenue caused by the pandemic. The club was also in poor form, conceding a high number of goals and losing 0–4 to Melbourne Victory and 3–5 to Adelaide United, eventually barely finishing in a finals position, in 6th place. The finals series saw the Glory win 1–0 against the 3rd placed Wellington Phoenix, following a brace from Joel Chianese in the first half of the elimination final. The Glory's ambition of going one further from the previous season ended after losing 0–2 against the premiers and eventual champions, Sydney FC, in the semi-final. A few days after this match, the club confirmed that Tony Popovic had left the club to take up a management role in the Greek club Xanthi, ending his successful two-year tenure with the club, a tenure that saw the breaking of various records and the Glory winning its first piece of A-League silverware.
Garcia era (2020–present)
On the 18th of September, Richard Garcia was appointed as Perth Glory coach, signing on for 2 seasons. His first competitive games in charge was at the 2020 AFC Champions League group stage whose final stages were held in Qatar due to an initial postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, Glory earned their first ever point in continental competition after a 3–3 draw with Shanghai Shenhua. Perth were eliminated in the group stage in their debut AFC Champions League season, after finishing 4th in their group with one point to their name.
Garcia's first season in charge was mainly a disappointment. Inconsistent performances led to the Glory missing out on finals for the first time in two seasons and finishing in 9th, their second-lowest finishing position in their history.
Name, colours and badge
Perth's home kit as of the 2020–21 season is mainly purple, with orange stripes on the collar and arms. The kit also consists of purple shorts with orange trimming and purple socks. The away kit consists of a white jersey with orange and purple stripes throughout, including on the collar and arms, and a large purple strip behind the BHP sponsorship in the middle of the kit. The shorts are white with orange and purple trimming and the socks are white. In what was seen as something of a tribute to Glory's past, the strip used for the 2009–10 season had vertical stripes, similar to what can be found on Glory's jersey of 1996–97. On 23 October 2011, Perth Glory wore a predominantly blue jersey in recognition of the 125-year anniversary of their major sponsor, QBE Insurance, in a match against Wellington Phoenix.
The Glory's original badge, used for the entire NSL era of the club, features sun rays that appear just above the word 'Glory', that utilises a soccer ball to represent the 'O' in the word. The word 'Perth' is also incorporated into the badge, in an arch above the soccer ball. In 2005 when the A-League was launched, the club decided a new badge was needed for the new era of Perth Glory. This badge has a similar layout to the original, retaining most of its elements, such as the soccer ball, the orange and purple colours and the sunbeams. In April 2009, a new shield badge for the club was unveiled, which features a soccer ball, sunbeams that protrude the outline of the badge and the colours of the original badge as well as a grey colour. Though completely divergent from previous designs, the new badge was received well in the general public. The change was viewed as the step to a new era of Perth Glory, attempting to appeal to fans. The club's 15th and 20th year anniversaries were celebrated with one-off logos, in the 2011–12 season and the 2016–17 season respectively.
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Major sponsor||Supporting sponsor||Year||AFC kit partners|
|1996–99||Umbro||Western QBE||Chicken Treat, Quit WA||–||–|
|2007–08||Delong Holdings, 6PR 882|
|2008–09||QBE Insurance||Kurv. Magazine, 6PR 882|
|2009–11||FEX Mining, 6PR 882|
|2011–12||XBlades||Hyperion Energy, Europcar|
|2012–13||Stellar Securities, Clough|
|2015–2019||National Storage, Clough|
|2019–present||BHP||LiveLighter, Move2gether||2020||Western Australian Government|
Perth's major sponsor for most of their existence has been the insurance company QBE Insurance, from 1996 to 2008 as Western QBE and from 2008 to 2019 as QBE Insurance. The mining company BHP became the major sponsor of the Glory after QBE confirmed they will no longer be sponsoring the club in April 2019.
The club's first supporting sponsor was Chicken Treat and Quit WA. Following Foxtel Digital's sponsorship in the 2006–07 season, Asian steel manufacturer Delong Holdings signed on as Perth's supporting sponsor for one-year in 2007. This deal was one of the largest in the A-League, worth $750,000 with an option of another two-year contract after season's end worth another $1,000,000. Delong opted out of the second year and the space on the back of the uniform was instead replaced by Tony Sage's fashion magazine Kurv in 2008. Since 2008, the Glory have had a range of different supporting sponsors, including Clough, National Storage and Europcar. The club's current supporting sponsors are LiveLighter and Move2gether.
The club's first kit manufacturer was Umbro in 1996, until Kappa succeeded them in 1999. Sekem produced the Glory's kits for the final NSL season, and Reebok succeeded them from the start of the A-League until 2011. XBlades succeeded Reebok in 2011 and the current manufacturer, Macron, succeeded them in 2013.
The club played their first match in the National Soccer League at the ground in October 1996. For the first several seasons of the NSL, the club ground-shared with East Perth Football Club, a local Australian rules football club. A number of proposed permanent homes for the Glory were suggested in the late 1990s. As part of Multiplex's contract to build the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, the construction company was required to build a rectangular stadium. The company was released from their contractual requirement after then-Glory chairman Nick Tana decided to proceed with a redevelopment of Leederville Oval. The Leederville Oval option was ultimately unsuccessful in the face of community opposition. In 2002, East Perth agreed to move to Leederville Oval and the state government agreed to turn Perth Oval into a dedicated rectangular venue.
The record attendance for an A-League match is 17,868 set in the semi-final against Adelaide United in the 2018–19 finals series, besting the previous record of 17,856, set when Glory hosted Melbourne Victory just a few weeks prior in round 23. The largest average season attendance in the A-League for the Glory is 10,533 in the 2016–17 season, while the largest attendance for any association football match at the ground was in November 1998 when 18,067 fans turned up to see a top-table clash with arch-rival South Melbourne FC.
With the arrival of the Western Force, in the Super 14 Rugby competition at the time, there was a push to have a 30,000+ capacity rectangular stadium in Perth. Western Force and Perth Glory joined forces to lobby the Western Australian Government for a ground of this size. The Force previously played games out of the 40,000-seat oval-shaped AFL ground Subiaco Oval, which hosted several Glory games before, generally NSL Finals games, most notably the 1999–2000 season NSL Grand Final when an all-time NSL record crowd of 43,242 fans saw Wollongong Wolves beat the Glory on penalties following a 3–3 draw. With the Force moving to nib Stadium prior to the 2010 Super 14 Season, a small increase in capacity was made to the ground, increasing capacity from around 18,000 to 20,500.
A major redevelopment occurred at Perth Oval starting in June 2012, with the southern and eastern stands being replaced with permanent structures. During the redevelopment, capacity was reduced during the 2012–13 A-League season. It was completed in September 2013, with a capacity of 20,441. There are plans to add a cover on the southern stand at a later stage.
Support and rivalries
The main active support area in the stadium is 'The Shed', a covered terraced standing area at the northern end of the ground. The original Shed was located on the hill at the northeast of the ground and was relocated closer to the playing surface during redevelopment in 2003. The Shed is home to the supporters' group, the 'Glory Shed Supporters Club (GSSC)'.
The Glory developed a rivalry against Wellington Phoenix after the side was established in 2007, titled 'The Distance Derby'. It is based upon the two teams being considered as having one of the longest away trips in the world for a domestic league (5,255 km/3,270 mi). The two teams have had three tense finals games in the A-League, most recently with Perth Glory winning a finals match in the 2019–20 season. The rivalry was formally resurrected in the 2015–16 A-League season by means of awarding a new trophy called the 'Long Distance Derby Cup', based on the cumulative results from the 3 league games for the season. Perth Glory won this cup in its inaugural year.
The club also has a rivalry with former A-League side Gold Coast United, named the 'Iron Ore Cup'. This rivalry was established due to a media-generated conflict which occurred before the two teams' met for the first time. The rivalry was named in such a way due to the owner of Perth, Tony Sage, and the owner of Gold Coast, Clive Palmer, having key involvements in the mining industry. The two sides have not played each other since Gold Coast was omitted from the league at the end of the 2011–12 A-League season.
Perth also developed a rivalry with former National Soccer League side Melbourne Knights. This rivalry started forming when the two sides competed against each other in a vital league match to qualify for finals during Glory's inaugural season, which featured crowd violence and Perth player Paul Strudwick being sent off. Glory eventually lost the game 1–3, ending their hopes of finals in their first season. In May 2001, a finals match played in Melbourne between the two sides featured Perth player, Bobby Despotovski, performing a Serbian salute towards the predominantly Croatian crowd, prompting Knights fans to assault Despotovski and Glory manager Bernd Stange prior to them boarding the Perth team bus. This prompted Glory fans to plan retaliatory attacks against Melbourne's team bus prior to the second leg of the match. The two sides have not played each other since the demise of the NSL in 2004.
- As of 1 October 2021
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Ownership and finances
In 1995, a consortium led by Nick Tana aimed to have a football team in Perth for the National Soccer League, subsequently Perth Glory were licensed to join the 1996/97 NSL season. In January 2004, Nick Tana announced he was planning to sell Perth Glory at the end of the season. On 30 April 2006, Tana and Football Federation Australia reached an agreement for FFA to take control of the club on 1 May 2006 to assume interim ownership of the club.
On 23 February 2007, Football Federation Australia announced triumvirate of local businessmen, Tony Sage, Brett McKeon and John Spence would take ownership of the club, with a commitment to make the club the powerhouse it was in the NSL. In 2008, Spence walked away from the club leaving Tony Sage and Brett McKeon as co-owners. On 18 February 2009, co-owner Brett McKeon quit the club as owner, making Tony Sage sole owner after buying out McKeon's shares.
In February 2020, Tony Sage confirmed that a majority of his stake in the club was set to be sold to the London Football Exchange, a football-based cryptocurrency exchange. This deal, however, eventually fell through due to growing speculation over its legitimacy.
|Board Member||Ross Levin|
|Board Member||John Boardman|
|Head coach||Richard Garcia|
|Assistant coach||Steven McGarry|
|Assistant coach||Ruben Zadkovich|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Danny Milosevic|
|Performance Analyst||Jesse Hesford|
|Strength and Conditioning Coach||Jason Weber|
|Logistics and Equipment Manager||Brett Lambert|
|Team Doctor||Dr Garrett Leonard|
|Academy Manager||Ruben Zadkovich|
|Academy Under-20s Manager||Chris Coyne|
|Academy Technical Director||Steven McGarry|
Management and Administration
|Chief Executive Officer||Tony Pignata|
|Football Operations||Terry McFlynn|
|Bernd Stange||1998–2001||National Soccer League Premiership: 1999–2000
National Soccer League Coach of the Year: 1999–2000
|Mich d'Avray||2001–2004||National Soccer League Premiership: 2001–02, 2003–04
National Soccer League Championship: 2003, 2004
National Soccer League Coach of the Year: 2003–04
|Alan Vest||2005–2006 (a.i.)||—|||
|Tony Popovic||2018–2020||A-League Premiership: 2018–19
A-League Coach of the Year: 2018–19
Jamie Harnwell holds the team record for the most number of games played with 256 appearances to his name. Bobby Despotovski has the second most appearances for the club, with 241 matches and Scott Miller has the third most appearances with 227 matches.
Bobby Despotovski is the all-time highest goalscorer in all competitions for the club with 113 goals. Damian Mori has scored the second most goals with 93 and Andy Keogh has scored the third most, with 64 goals to his name.
Perth Glory's highest attendance for a home league match is 18,067, recorded on 15 November 1998 against South Melbourne. The club's highest home attendance for any match is 56,371, recorded for the 2019 A-League Grand Final against Sydney FC. It is the highest attended grand final in A-League history.
Perth Glory won its first piece of major silverware in the 1999–2000 season, with the premiership being won, and won their second premiership in the 2001–02 season. Despite reaching the grand final in both respective seasons, the Glory lost both, 3–3 (6–7 on penalties) against Wollongong Wolves and 0–1 against Olympic Sharks respectively. In the Glory's third grand final attempt in 2003, the club won their first Australian championship, after defeating Olympic Sharks 2–0. In the following season, the last season of the National Soccer League, Perth won their first and only double. This consisted of the winning of their third premiership and second championship, after defeating Parramatta Power through the scoring of a golden goal in extra time in the 2004 grand final.
Perth had a decline in form after the start of the A-League, failing to reach the finals series for several seasons. Despite reaching the 2012 grand final, as well as two FFA Cup finals and two A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup finals, the Glory failed to win silverware in the A-League era until the 2018–19 season. In this season, the club won its fourth premiership, with Tony Popovic as the manager of the side, ending a 15-year silverware drought and equalling the record for the most domestic premierships won, held by the Melbourne Knights at the time. Perth also hosted their first grand final since 2003 in the same season, eventually losing on penalties to Sydney.
- National Soccer League/A-League Men[nb 1]
- National Soccer League/A-League Men Grand Finals[nb 1]
|2020||AFC Champions League||Group F||FC Tokyo||0–1||1–0||4th|
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the Glory will unveil a new logo and slightly different name — Perth Glory Football Club, as distinct from the old “soccer” club
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