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The Roar


Glory owner contemplates player stand-down

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20th September, 2020

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage is considering standing down players amid a pay dispute from A-League clubs and players.

Sage’s revelation that he may stand down players amid an ongoing pay dispute has left the FFA and the players union frustrated.

The outspoken Glory boss says his club is facing a reduction in revenues of up to 75 per cent due to falling broadcast and gate income during the COVID-19 crisis.

A-League players voted last week to reject a proposed 30 per cent pay cut for the 2020-21 campaign from clubs as part of a collective bargaining agreement process with Professional Footballers Australian (PFA).

Sage says he may have no option but to stand players and staff down after the proposal was knocked back.

“Our revenue from the broadcast rights has dropped by almost 50 per cent and in light of the unprecedented worldwide pandemic, our gate receipts remain uncertain because of WA’s hard borders,” Sage said in an open letter to Glory members.

“These border restrictions will be another huge hit to our revenue of about 30 per cent.

“So in total, Glory’s total revenue may drop by up to 75 per cent for the upcoming season.”

During the coronavirus enforced shutdown of the past season, all Australian-based A-League clubs except Melbourne City, Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory stood down players.


A short-term deal – which involved heavy player pay cuts – was then agreed in order to complete the campaign.
“Some other clubs will also stand down players and staff, other clubs may pay 50 per cent of current salaries, but all owners are unanimous in offering the players a 30 per cent reduction for the upcoming season because that’s all the money there is,” Sage said.

In response to Sage’s comments, an FFA spokesman said it was an underwhelming start to the club’s independent management of the competition, which was achieved via an in-principle agreement in July.

“The game is in good shape, but the league requires significant work,” the spokesman told AAP.

“This is where the owners come in with the original intent of the unbundling of the leagues from FFA.”

The PFA said Sage’s comments were disappointing with Glory players scheduled to hold further talks with the club on Monday.

“Attempts to pressure the players through threats and misleading commentary is unhelpful and damaging, particularly while the players continue to work in good faith to reach a solution,” co-chief executive Beau Busch said.

The PFA has previously stated players have already had to make a financial sacrifice and it’s unfair for them to be asked to accept further cuts for next season.

While the FFA is not directly involved in the negotiations, chief executive James Johnson has warned the governing body will intervene if the two parties cannot reach an agreement.