09 August 2010
Record crowd for Glory to kick off A-League
Perth Glory owner and Chairman Tony Sage has lauded the record A-League crowd that turned out for the clubs first Hyundai A-League appearance for season 2010/11, believing it more than justified the significant investment he has made in the club he brought back from the brink of extinction just over three seasons ago.
"When I took over ownership of the Glory three season ago I knew we had a long way to go to get back to the glory days of the NSL, when Perth Glory were the best in the league and well supported by the people of Western Australia," Mr Sage said.
"It has taken time and a considerable investment, but in my view we have built one of the most formidable playing squads in the competition, have assembled what I believe to be the best football departments in the league and boast one of the most dedicated and hard-working administration teams, all we needed was for the people of Western Australia to get behind us.
"The build up to the game, from media attention, memberships, pre-game ticket sales, general awareness for the club and the record setting crowd on Friday night, to me as owner and Chairman, was like getting a big tick from the people of Western Australia that we had built something that they could be and are proud of supporting," he added.
Friday night’s game against North Queensland saw the highest Perth Glory home attendance since the inception of the A-League, with 16,019 in attendance.
Despite pre-game conjecture of a +18,000 crowd the Glory was pleased with the record first game crowd as it was significantly higher than the 14,000-15,000 it had budgeted for in the weeks leading up the game, and the number of complimentary/promotional tickets used as part of league wide promotional initiatives was minimal.
"It has been some time since we have seen a crowd like that at nib Stadium, in my view not since the old NSL days, with the stadium electric from well before the game right up until the final whistle," Mr Sage said.
"We were expecting a crowd of about fourteen to fifteen thousand for round one, with up to two thousand of that being promotional/ complimentary tickets used by the A-league as part of part of important early season promotional initiatives with junior clubs. To achieve an attendance of over sixteen thousand with less than one thousand of those being promotional tickets is significantly more than we budgeted for and hopefully sets the tone of the rest of the season," Mr Sage said.
"We also made a decision early in the week to hold back a large number of general admission tickets to ensure that if issues arose on the night with members not having their seat we were able to adequately accommodate them, meaning that a sell-out in our mind was always going to be around the sixteen to seventeen thousand mark."
The Club experienced issues in the lead-up to the game with the external system used to process and dispatch memberships, which meant a large number of members did not get their tickets prior to round one and a number of seats allocated to members also unintentionally sold as part of pre-game tickets sales.
"Despite all the positives we took out of the attendance on Friday night I do want to apologise to those members that were affected by the ticketing issues we experienced and assure them that we will ensure any issues will be rectified by our second home game, when not only do we hope to once again have a bumper crowd but to also take home the three points," Mr Sage added.
Despite the Glory conceding a late equaliser and only taking a point from the match Mr Sage believes the manner which the team played, together with the number of players to return, should see the hit winning form soon and become a team to be reckoned with in the A-League this season.
"Our coaching and conditioning staff have ensured that we have team challenging the best in the competition week-in-week and I am confident that not only will the Glory generate a strong winning culture but that we will also play a brand of football that is entertaining and enjoyable to watch," he said
Perth Glory's next home match at nib Stadium (formerly ME Bank Stadium) is against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday, August 21, with kick-off at 3.15pm.