Perth looking to pave new Glory through fresh ownership

The ownership of long-standing A-League team Perth Glory has changed hands, with property mogul Ross Pelligra taking the reins.

The multi-millionaire Melbournian has pledged to Glory fans his intentions of reinvigorating the club into becoming ‘a benchmark club of Australian Football’.

The sole Western Australia club have had to earn their stripes and achievements while accommodating for difficulties, which other A-League clubs have not endured. Initially the Glory were seeking to become a National Soccer League (NSL) tenant in the mid-1970s, given the talent showcased by their state representative side. Due to financial and logistical issues, Western Australia had a football outfit, without a title.

A consortium spearheaded by Joe Claudio, founded a Perth based club, known as the Perth Kangaroos IFC. Although a licence to participate in the NSL never materialised, the club where granted entry into the Singapore Premier League (SPL). Within their maiden, and only season, the Kangaroos breezed through their competition, winning the League Title while remaining undefeated in the process.  Although there was success on the field, the wheels off the field had violently, fallen off.

Italian Australian Entrepreneur Nick Tana capitalised upon the financial failure that was the Perth Kangaroos. NSL representatives, noticing the talent pool within Western Australia given their success in Asia, combined with the potential for another Australian market, led to Perth Glory’s creation, making their debut in the 1996-97 NSL Season, taking place a full year after their materialization.

Acknowledging their early hardships yet successes, the fluctuation from Glory to of the club is somewhat built in its DNA.  Both on and off the pitch, post their success in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Perth had lost its previous ambition. It had taken the club 14 seasons to taste their first A-League Title, with two runners-up medals in A-League Finals.

The consortium that had acquired Tana’s club in 2006, were unable to eclipse the dominance of their previous owner. Recently, the club was almost pawned off to an illegitimate London-based, Cryptocurrency football exchange. Insert, Ross Pelligra.

Perth fans have reason for prosperity, as their new owner is no stranger to the football world. Historic Italian outfit Catania FC had gone into administration in 2022 culminating in all board, playing and non-playing staff to face redundancy. The club where excluded from the Serie C in 2022, with their future in limbo. Pelligra, showcasing passion for his heritage and football, acquired the club in which is the birth place of his mother, in order to save it from termination.

Pelligra and his ambitions resulted in the club swiftly reinterring the third tier of Italian Football, as the club where able to win the Serie D (Group 1), granting promotion. This man oozes passion. In comparison to football club owners on an international scale, in who do have the financial capacity, do not showcase the desire Pelligra possess, in wanting to see his outfits succeed.

To succeed in both off park stability, and on park triumph, football is within Pelligra’s fabric. It is a safe assumption, that Pelligra is not undertaking the financial pressures involved in club ownership, for monetary gain. This is heritage, this is a way of life.

But how is he going to lead Perth to Glory? What does he have within his arsenal?

His passion is combated by football brains in whom represented the Socceroos.

Asian Cup and Socceroo legend Marc Bresciano is rumoured to feature as a prominent figure under the Pelligra hierarchy within the football department. Vince Grella, who is Pelligra’s right-hand man in Catania’s 2023 Serie D Title Win, is also tipped to be involved.

The warning signals haven’t quite rung out yet, however it is best believed that Perth are looking to emphasise the Glory part of their name – the era we are about to see may just be their Glory.

FC Barcelona and EBC Financial Group confirm collaboration

FC Barcelona has broadened its presence in the foreign exchange industry by partnering with EBC Financial Group (EBC).

This collaboration spans 3.5 years establishing the financial institution as FC Barcelona’s Official Partner in Foreign Exchange. The partnership encompasses regions such as APAC, LATAM, the Middle East, and Africa.

This collaboration signifies a momentous achievement for EBC, as it aligns the brand with FC Barcelona’s esteemed legacy and worldwide influence. Through this exclusive arrangement, EBC gains the exceptional privilege to conduct specialized business operations within the foreign exchange sector.

The partnership encompasses various services such as foreign exchange transactions, trading, brokering (including CFDs), and advisory services. Additionally, it presents an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen FC Barcelona’s connection with its partners, supporters, and Culers in these regions, while advancing its global expansion strategy through strategic partnerships in diverse sectors.

Marketing Area Vice President at FC Barcelona, Juli Guiu, released a statement regarding this partnership.

“This partnership coincides with FC Barcelona’s global expansion plan in recent years, I’m sure that this will help the Club open up a wealth of opportunities in the financial sector through these 3.5 years of partnership with the well-renowned EBC Financial Group.

“With the untapped potentials we see in the Asia Pacific region, as well as the growing economies in South & Central America, Mexico, Africa, and Middle East, we’re excited to build more connections with brands, partners, supporters and Culers in these regions.”

APAC Director of Operations at EBC Financial Group, Samuel Hertz, also added a statement for this collaboration.

“Even though EBC is only four years old, we’ve only grown because we demand the best from ourselves and the industry. We’ve delved deep into FC Barcelona’s storied history, learning from their culture of mentorship where the experienced guide the new, and the new inspire the younger, creating a continuum of growth and excellence.

“This isn’t just a partnership; it’s a shared journey towards greatness, embodying a culture where success is not just about winning but about fostering values, nurturing talent, and contributing positively to society. We’re inspired by Barca’s way of doing things, their culture where veterans nurture newcomers, passing on wisdom and passion.”

Operating from strategically positioned offices in key financial hubs including London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, the Cayman Islands, Singapore, Bangkok, Limassol, and beyond, EBC serves a varied clientele comprising retail, professional, and institutional investors across the globe.

Assessing the path of A-League Women to become full-time

To ensure there is a deep-rooted legacy from the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the A-League Women becoming a full-time profession should be a matter of importance to develop the Australian game.

As the competition improves, the expectations on individual players increases, whereas the careers provided to them are not yet adequate for most players to financially support themselves merely through football.

Until the players are provided with full-time year-round employment structure, majority of the sportswomen are in the firing line juggling the physical and mental aspects of their commitments to football and part-time employment, of which three in five of those players work outside of football.

This topic of discussion was raised back in February during a two-day women’s football congress that was hosted by the players’ union, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA).

Under the 2021-2026 A-Leagues Collective Bargaining Agreement, the base limit was $20,608 in 2022-23 season for a 29-week contract for the ALW, with most of the players earned at or close to the minimum that season.

However, the remuneration for the past season rose to $25,000, which for the very first time it was transformed to a full home-and-away schedule, the current athletes are under contract for a 22 round regular season for 35 weeks, along with four extra weeks for finals.

Former Matilda and PFA executive member Elise Kellond-Knight expressed her opinion on this matter.

“We need aspirational leaders. We don’t need a long-term, 10-year strategy to get to full-time professionalism. Like, this is 2024. We need it tomorrow. We needed it yesterday,” she said.

“It’s important that the girls understand where we’ve come from and how much hard work we’ve had to do. Things don’t get handed to female athletes you have to stand up, you have to ask for it, you have to fight for it.

“It’s really important that we embed that philosophy in the next generation to come.”

In contrast to the A-League Men, just 15 percent had some type of job outside of their football commitments, 93 percent of those individuals worked less than 10 hours on a weekly basis.

The survey comments portray an evocative of the not so sustainable football/work/life balance the individuals have to commit to:

“I don’t want to feel like I have to work between seasons (for example: most of us do not get paid in the off season). It is a lot to juggle, especially going away for national team camps and the immense amount of traveling. I feel this weight on my shoulders from my work obligations.”

“If my work and football commitments clash, I am expected by my coach to skip work (where I get paid more and am respected more), and I am expected by my boss to skip soccer, and neither care if you suffer financially or reputation wise for it.”

According to the survey, it was made aware that all but three clubs had failed to provide players the desired two-month in advance training calendar as well as the seven day notice period, which makes matters even more complicated for those coping with various jobs to plan in advance.

The PFA admit changes such as this won’t occur overnight, generally speaking, to implement full-time professional contracts is the righteous thing to do for women players, but as the PFA report put it “should also be seen as an investment, not a cost.”

The full-time pay is such a significant goal for women’s football in this country, but the clubs can ease their path to that goal and can do a whole lot more to make sure those changes are modified sooner rather than later.

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