Perth Glory FC
|Full name||Perth Glory Football Club|
|Founded||1 December 1995|
|Head Coach||Richard Garcia|
|2019–20||A-League, 6th of 11|
|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 competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia (FFA).
Founded in 1995, Perth Glory is one of three A-League clubs to survive from the now-defunct National Soccer League (NSL). In this competition, Perth won three league Premierships and two Championships from four grand final appearances and were the final Champions and Premiers of this league before it was dissolved in 2004. Perth entered the A-League as one of the eight original teams for the inaugural 2005–06 season. The club has won one Premiership and appeared in two grand finals in this competition. The club has also qualified for the AFC Champions League once and appeared in two FFA Cup finals and two A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup finals.
The club's home ground is Perth Oval, currently known as HBF Park for sponsorship purposes, a 20,500-seat stadium. Major friendly and grand final matches are played at Perth Stadium, currently known as Optus Stadium for sponsorship purposes, a 60,000-seat stadium. The youth side competes in the Y-League and the National Premier Leagues and the women's side competes in the W-League. The youth side and women's side play home matches at various stadiums across Perth, including Dorrien Gardens and E & D Litis Stadium, as well as the senior team's home ground.
Perth's main supporter group is known as 'The Shed', named this due to the covered terraced standing area that is present at the northern end of the club's home ground. The club has a rivalry with Wellington Phoenix, known as 'The Distance Derby' , and used to have a rivalry with Gold Coast United, named the 'Iron Ore Cup'. The club's all-time leading goalscorer is Bobby Despotovski as of August 2020, 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
— Perth Glory Chairman Nick Tana at the club's official launch, 1 December 1995.
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.
1996–97 Season (Inaugural Season)
Players like 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.
The following year, 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.
2003–04 Season (Final NSL Season)
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.
First season in the A-League, 2005–06
2005–06 Season (First A-League Season)
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.
Ownership troubles, 2006–09
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.
On 2 March, it was announced that former Perth Glory players Anthony Danze and Billy Celeski had rejoined the club, along with new signings Dino Djulbic and AIS graduate Jimmy Downey. It was also announced that Naum Sekulovski had agreed to a new one-year deal with the Glory. On 21 March, Perth Glory announced the signing of former Perth SC and Young Socceroos Goalkeeper Tando Velaphi. This was followed on 27 March with the signing of Nikita Rukavytsya, also from Perth SC. Nikolai Topor-Stanley joined the club after Sydney FC's Asian Champions League campaign finished. On 19 May, Perth Glory announced that Milton Keynes Dons F.C. winger Nick Rizzo had signed a two-year deal with the club. On 24 May, the signing of little-known Croatian striker Mate Dragičević was announced. Dutch veteran Michael Mols was expected to sign as a Glory player for the 2007–08 season but rejected the offer to sign for Feyenoord. Hayden Foxe and Mitchell Prentice were later added to the squad, and the signing of striker James Robinson was also completed. 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. On the front of the Glory jersey, long-serving major sponsor Western QBE signed a one-year deal worth A$500,000, with an option of two years after that.
In the 2007 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup, the Glory surprised many by making the Final against Adelaide despite not playing a single game in WA. In the first round in Port Macquarie, Glory beat Newcastle United Jets FC 1–0 to lead group B from the outset. In the second round, in Adelaide, Glory took the lead through young sensation Nikita Rukavytsya, but were held to a draw by United after a 35-metre wonder strike from Reds defender Cassio. Going into the final group game, against Premiers and champions Melbourne Victory FC, Perth needed a positive result to progress to the Final. In Darwin, in what the FFA designated as a home game, Melbourne scored first through Costa Rican sensation Carlos Hernández, a 35-meter cracker. But the Glory equalised and then took the lead through goals from Harnwell and Nikita Rukavytsya. Unfortunately in the other game, United thrashed unfortunate Newcastle, who had to settle for third place in the group, by 4 goals to 1, meaning Glory would have to face Central Coast, winners of the other group and in ominous form on the back of two wins and a draw. Glory, however, played amazingly well and were victors 3–2 in Gosford. Unfortunately, again United beat their opponents Queensland by 3 goals to two in an absolute cracker of a game, meaning United would host the Grand Final. This was Perth's second chance at the Pre-Season silverware in the A-League. Prior to the match, Socceroo Simon Colosimo was handed the captaincy and the job of steering Perth back to former Glory. Perth eventually lost after leading for a large part of the match, again to a Cassio wonder strike, the final score being 2–1 to United. Many people put this down to the travel that the squad endured throughout the campaign for the laps in the last 20 minutes.
The new league season started poorly though 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. Results and crowds immediately picked up. 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 win over Sydney. Mitchell won four and drew two of the remaining 10 games of the 2007–8 season. The club's playing staff drew controversy as the season ended, with news that Simon Colosimo had agreed to join Sydney FC at the end of the season. The story was published in the Sunday Times newspaper and resulted in Colosimo being jeered by sections of the Shed crowd during the round 18 loss to Queensland Roar. Colosimo later strongly denied any deal was done, but admitted that the crowd response made him less likely to stay at Perth.  Colosimo was dropped for the final two games of the year for "tactical reasons". He completed his move to Sydney FC at the end of the season.
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, Changsha Ginde and Guangzhou. The tour was used as an opportunity for the club to assess potential signings, including state league players Josip Magdić (Floreat Athena), Mark Lee, (footballer, now coach at Pro Football Training) (ECU Joondalup), Callum Roberts (Fremantle) and Marc Anthony (Stirling Lions). Eugene Dadi, whose mooted move to the Glory last season was stalled due to Hapoel Acre's refusal to release him, also made the trip. The Glory lost all three matches; the first match went to Changchun 3–0, the second match to Changsha 2–0 and Guangzhou won the final game 3–1. Callum Roberts scored the Glory's only goal on the tour. Perth Glory also made four new signings in their off-season. Eugene Dadi was granted release from his former club to sign for Perth Glory.[permanent dead link] Adriano Pellegrino and Adrian Trinidad joined the club in early May.[permanent dead link] Jimmy Downey also had his contract extended by a further year. Josip Magdić and Naum Sekulovski had also re-joined the Glory for season 2008/09. Stan Lazaridis is the most notable departure, having been told by the club he is no longer required after two seasons hampered by injury, suspension and poor form. In July 2008, Glory announced the signing of Brazilian international midfielder Amaral. The defensive midfielder has played with some of the great clubs around the globe including Brazilian giants Palmeiras and Corinthians, perennial Portuguese championship contenders Benfica and successful Italian Serie A outfits Parma and Fiorentina. He has also represented Brazil 31 times during a long and successful career before joining Perth on their pre-season tour of Indonesia. Glory had been keeping a close eye on youngsters Scott Bulloch (Sorrento), Anthony Skorić (Western Knights) and Andrija Jukić (Perth SC) who were all up and coming players in the WA State league. Bulloch signed with the Glory's senior team in August, while Skorić and Jukić joined Glory's Youth Team. In September, Wayne Srhoj returned to Australia after five seasons in Romania, to sign with the Glory for the rest of the season. 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, 2009–10
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 have 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 have 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.
Ferguson era, 2010–13
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. After the resignation of David Mitchell, he became the head coach on 12 October 2010. 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, assistant coach Ian Ferguson became his replacement. After the managerial change, Glory lost another game 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 including Dutch international Bas van den Brink, NZ international Shane Smeltz, Brazilian player Andrezinho, Irish international Liam Miller and former Ireland U21 player Billy Mehmet. Several players were let go including Robbie Fowler and Jamie Coyne. In the pre-season, Perth glory played Scottish giants Celtic FC in front of 15,000 fans; however Glory lost 2–0, Perth ended their Pre-Season campaign with a 2–2 draw against Sydney FC. Perth Glory's first match 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 in a row, Glory again slumped, 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 3rd on the ladder and qualified for the finals 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, Glory won 3–2 in extra time. Glory then went to Bluetongue Stadium to play Central Coast Mariners in a Preliminary final, Glory won 1–1 (3–5) on penalties and for the first time in A-League history Perth Glory were in a Grand Final. Against Brisbane Roar, in front of 50,334 people at Suncorp Stadium Perth went up 1–0 however Brisbane's Besart Berisha equalised at the 84th minute, Brisbane roar won in the dying seconds of the game after 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 replace by former Perth Glory player Alistair Edwards. The club would then produced a string of good performance to make the finals before being eliminated at the hands of Melbourne Victory 2–1.
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, 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 and Asian Champions League winner Brendon Santalab, Asian 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 FC, 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 was hosted in Perth for the first time in the A-League era, 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 started with a friendly against NPLWA side Bayswater City, which ended in a 3–0 victory to Perth, with goals from Jacob Tratt, Gabriel Popovic and Kristian Popovic. This was followed by 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 Western Sydney Wanderers.
Garcia era, 2020–present
On the 18th of September, Richard Garcia was appointed as Perth Glory coach, signing on for 2 seasons.
Name, colours and badge
When Perth Glory was formed (in 1996), the club felt it important to create a logo and name with no ethnic overtones and which symbolised the rebirth of soccer in Western Australia. It was felt the name Perth Glory had broad appeal and a sense of history. The sunburst in the logo is characteristic of Perth in summer, while purple was chosen as the main colour and orange and white as the secondary colours, they were chosen in contrast to the more traditional combinations (generally white, red or blue).
Perth's kit is mainly Purple, with white stripes on the front of the jersey, purple and white shoulders with orange trimming, purple shorts with white trimming and purple socks. The away kit consists of a white jersey with an orange and purple stripe down the center, and white shorts and socks.
In 2005 when the A-League was launched, the club decided a new logo was needed for the new era of Perth Glory. The new logo retained the small 'Perth' in an arc above the larger 'Glory', with the letter 'O' still represented by a soccer ball. The orange and purple colours still stayed as did the sun rays. The previous logo had been used since the club's inception in 1996 in the old NSL.
During the FFA's administration of the club, they indicated an openness to changes to the Perth Glory name and colours. Even though this move was welcomed by many long time supporters who remember the original motives of the Nick Tana led consortium in the mid 1990s to purchase the naming and livery rights and all other historical assets related to the oldest (albeit with a non-continuous history) Western Australian football club, Perth City FC, resulting in being rebuffed at the final minute, this was still not a popular move amongst the bulk of paid-up Perth Glory members who have grown accustomed to the current name and colours thus closing the door on any popular compromise. Thankfully for said members, the new ownership triumvirate consisting of Messrs Sage, Spence and McKeon stated that the colours will certainly not be changed under their reign.
In April 2009 a new shield logo for the club was unveiled. Though completely divergent from previous designs, the new badge has been received well in the general public. The change is viewed as the step to a new era of Perth Glory, attempting to appeal to fans.
In what was seen as something of a tribute to Glory's past, the 2009–10 strip reverted to the vertical stripes, similar to what can be found on Glory's jersey of 1996–97.
Since 1998, the insurance company Western QBE had been Glory's title (front-of-shirt) sponsor. However, when ownership of the Glory was handed to FFA, Western QBE decided not to sponsor the club for the 2006–07 season. This left the Glory in a tough position—a lack of sponsorship and owners meant a lack of money, a lack of quality players, poor results and poor soccer, poor crowd attendances and low ticket sales. This is the model that had affected so many NSL clubs and led to their demise, and had led to the demise of the New Zealand Knights. Therefore, the Glory knew they needed to find a sponsor quickly, and transitional owners FFA knew they needed to find good owners in a timely fashion as well. 18 rounds into the 2006–07 season, Western QBE returned as title sponsor, signing for the remaining three rounds and until the end of the 2007–08 A-League season. This brought much-needed stability to the club; the funds helped to secure the supporters' faith, which set off another chain-reaction: fans meant more money, which meant more advertisement, which meant survival, which meant potential owners felt more secure about bidding for the club's licence. This all led to a much larger and more highly respected squad for the 2007–08 season.
Owners were found in February 2007 for the club in Tony Sage, John Spence and Brett McKeon. These owners injected much needed funds into on-field performance, administration, appeal to fans and youth development camps.
A massive boost in March 2007 was the signing of a one-year deal with Asian steel manufacturer Delong Holdings ltd. 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. The name and symbol of Delong featured prominently on the back of Glory's shirts during the 2007–08 season, with Western QBE already emblazoned on the front in tandem with Delong as Glory's title sponsor. 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.
In May 2009, WA mining company FEX Mining signed a large deal reportedly worth around A$1.2 million a year for the next two seasons. This deal is seen as a major factor in the squad's large overhaul, allowing top players such as Chris Coyne to be signed by the club.
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Major sponsor||Supporting sponsor|
|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|
Perth Glory play their home games at Perth Oval (known as HBF Park for sponsorship purposes) which holds 20,500 spectators. The 2019 Grand Final was however played at Perth Stadium (known as Optus Stadium for sponsorship purposes) which holds 60,000 spectators. A crowd of 56,371 attended the grand final match, which was too much for HBF Park.
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 Nic 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 then Super 14 Rugby competition 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 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 increased corporate areas.
A major redevelopment occurred at Perth Oval starting in June 2012 replaced the southern and eastern stands 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.
The Shed, which is a covered terraced standing area at the northern end of the ground is the main active support area in the stadium.
The original Shed was located on the hill at the northeast of the ground. The redevelopment of the ground in 2003 led to the relocation of the Shed closer to the playing surface. The Shed is home to the supporter group, Glory Shed Supporters Club (GSSC).
- As of 31 August 2020
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.
|Board Member||Ross Levin|
|Board Member||John Boardman|
|Head coach||Richard Garcia|
|Assistant coach||Steven McGarry|
|Assistant coach||Ruben Zadkovich|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Danny Milosevic|
|Football Analyst||Luciano Trani|
|Stength and Conditioning Coach||Scott Smith|
|Logistics and Equipment Manager||Brett Lambert|
|Team Doctor||Dr Jonathon Charlesworth|
|Academy Manager||Ruben Zadkovich|
|Academy Under-20s Manager||Chris Coyne|
|Academy Technical Director||Steve McGarry|
Management and Administration
|Chief Executive Officer||Tony Pignata|
|Football & Academy Director||Jacob Burns|
The Distance Derby
This rivalry, against Wellington Phoenix, was originally conceived as a joke. It is based upon the two teams being considered as having the longest road trips in the world for a domestic league (5,255 km/3,270 mi). This is used to be considered to be the longest distance regular top-flight domestic league fixtures in professional football until Luch Vladivostok and FC Baltika Kaliningrad in the Russian Football National League. This distinction was previously held by Zenit St Petersburg and FC Luch Vladivostok in the Russian Premier League, before the latters' relegation in 2008. The distance between Perth and Auckland, home of the Phoenix's predecessors, the New Zealand Knights, is slightly longer than Perth-Wellington. The two teams have had two tense finals games in the A-League, most recently with Perth Glory winning a finals match in 2011–12 in extra time. 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.
Iron Ore Cup
This rivalry, against Gold Coast United, was established due to a media-generated rivalry which occurred before the two teams' met for the first time. Due to the Perth Glory owner, Tony Sage, and the Gold Coast United owner, Clive Palmer, having key involvements in the mining industry, the rivalry was named the Iron Ore Cup. The cup was introduced in the 2009–2010 A-League season. The cup has been defunct since the 2012-13 A-League season, when Gold Coast United were omitted from the league.
Jamie Harnwell holds the team record for a number of total games played with 256 matches. 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 60 goals to his name.
Perth Glory's highest A-League home game attendance was 17,856, recorded on 30 March 2019 against Melbourne Victory. The 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.
- National Soccer League/A-League Premiership[nb 1]
- National Soccer League/A-League Championship[nb 1]
|2020||AFC Champions League||Group F||FC Tokyo||1–0|
AFC Club Ranking
- As of 15 September 2019
|75||Sanat Naft Abadan F.C.||1368|
|Division||Season||National Soccer League||Top scorer|
|1||1999–00||34||19||7||8||60||42||+18||64||1st||RU|| Con Boutsianis
|1||2008–09||21||6||4||11||31||44||–13||22||7th||–||–||–|| Nikita Rukavytsya
|1||2013–14||27||7||7||13||28||37||–11||28||8th||–||–||–|| Shane Smeltz
|1||2014–15||27||14||8||5||45||35||+10||50||7th[nb 2]||DQ||RU||–||Andy Keogh||12|
|Premiers||Runners-up||Third Place||Top scorer in the league|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Perth Glory FC.|
| NSL Premiers
1999–00 (first title)
| NSL Premiers
2001–02 (second title)
| NSL Champions
2002–03 (first title)
| NSL Premiers
2003–04 (third title)
| NSL Champions
2003–04 (second title)
| A-League Premiers
2018–19 (first title)