The Roar
The Roar


Bruno-less Victory fire blanks, Pelligra Group hope to restore Glory days, was Rudan ban appropriate?

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18th February, 2024

The Perth Glory ownership issue was finally resolved, Marko Rudan learnt his fate and we saw a pretty underwhelming Melbourne Derby across another busy week.

Here are your A-League Round 17 talking points.

Did Rudan sanction go far enough?

I’ll start by saying that I believe Marko Rudan’s infamous diatribe aimed at the referees and the APL was premeditated, not purely an emotional reaction to defeat at the hands of local rivals Macarthur. Considering the way Wanderers have communicated in public since that press conference, it seems many people within the club back Rudan and may also have taken a few sips of Kool-Aid.

Perhaps it was all a ploy to galvanise his players and adopt an ‘us against the world’ mentality as Western Sydney chase an elusive first-ever A-League championship, or maybe Rudan truly believes there is a conspiracy against his club. In any case, a two-match ban with a third suspended does not go far enough after Rudan’s rant.

The behaviour of Wanderers Chairman and co-owner Paul Lederer, who was also APL Chairman until recently, was shameful. There is simply no place in the A-League – or in football at all – for this kind of abuse directed at referees. Like anyone involved at the professional level the officials’ performances will always be scrutinised, but abuse will never be tolerated. What was Lederer even doing on the field?

The marketing department – what’s left of it – at the APL may be licking their lips with a Sydney Derby at CommBank Stadium just two weeks away, but after taking just one point from a possible nine it seems the off-field drama has the potential to sink Wanderers’ title hopes.

(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)


After talking the talk, can Pelligra Group restore Glory days?

One of the league’s biggest off-field sagas has finally come to an end, with property developers the Pelligra Group confirmed as the new owners of Perth Glory. The WA side, who are the only foundation club never to have won an A-League championship, have been struggling on and off the pitch for years, dating back to the tail end of the Tony Sage era.

It’s an important step forward for a proud club looking to return to title contention and restore pride in the Perth footballing community. The squad, as it is currently composed, is nowhere near the quality of the league’s heavyweights. If Ross Pelligra is serious about his rhetoric – and he’s said all the right things so far – there needs to be substantial investment in talent to give Glory the best chance of competing going forward.

It still leaves another unresolved ownership situation, however, with KordaMentha still searching for an interested party to purchase the Newcastle Jets.

It has been three long years since former Jets owner Martin Lee’s licence was stripped by Football Federation Australia, and unsurprisingly, they’ve been floundering on-field ever since. The final year or so of Lee’s tenure was also marred by drama, so that’s over four years of futility at McDonald Jones Stadium.

How much longer can this situation go on?


Derby draw highlights Victory’s major deficiency

Ostensibly the game of the round, the latest edition of the Melbourne Derby instead proved to be a bit of a letdown, ending in a scoreless draw. For Melbourne Victory it is their tenth draw in 17 matches but Tony Popovic’s side are still comfortably in the finals places, while the reigning premiers are on the outside looking in, three points behind sixth-placed Wanderers.

Post-game Popovic dismissed claims that his side need to take more risks in attack. Despite going 15 matches unbeaten, Victory have managed only six wins this campaign, equal with their crosstown rivals. There’s no doubting that the former Vuck’s defensive structure is top notch but with Bruno Fornaroli nursing a hand injury, a large element of their attacking threat was missing.

Fornaroli has netted 13 times, almost half of Victory’s 28 goals. There’s still plenty of attacking quality in the likes of Zinedine Machach and Daniel Arzani, but the side does seem reliant on the naturalised Socceroo to put the ball in the back of the net. Looking ahead to the business end of the season, do Victory possess enough threats to succeed in sudden death football?

Quick hits

-In some more positive off-field news, Western United have announced their training base is ready for match action. Let’s not forget, however, that despite all of Jason Sourasis’s smooth talking, an actual stadium worthy of hosting top-flight football should’ve been ready by now. Whether that ground ever gets built is anyone’s guess.

-Speaking of Western, John Aloisi’s side snapped a seven-game winless streak, downing the Newcastle Jets 2-0 at an eerily empty AAMI Park. That result keeps a glimmer of hope alive for United’s finals chances but it’ll require quite a remarkable run from here to make the playoffs.


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-Adelaide United have slipped down to ninth on the ladder after a 2-1 defeat to Sydney at Allianz Stadium. Must be said that the Reds have been hit hard by injuries, but this is unchartered territory for one of the league’s most consistent sides in recent years. There’s a decent chance they could miss the finals in 2023-24.

-The table is tightening up in the middle section with just seven points separating Macarthur in third place and Brisbane in eighth.