A reflection on our first 12-months of The Perth Glory Way

Peter Filopoulos, CEO Perth Glory and John Marinopoulos, Partner, PwC Australia

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
– Albert Einstein

It’s been 12-months since Perth Glory unveiled its ambitious and bold four-year  strategy on 24 February, 2016 called “The Perth Glory Way”.

Perth Glory and the team at the then Strategic Intelligence Group and now PwC, wrote the strategy after wide consultation with all quarters of the Perth Glory Football Club, using Einstein’s maxim above, “learn what is the pathway to success and then play better than anyone else”.

Some of the key measures in the strategy are already coming to fruition. Others will take the full four years to finalise. That was always the plan. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The near term measures that are vital to ensuring The Perth Glory Way started on the right foot:

  • For our players and coaches, we will be where innovative, exciting and brilliant football are the core to delivering success at all levels
  • Perth Glory will be a club for all Western Australians in which they can be proud. Always
  • 10,000 Members and 12,500 average attendances by 2018
  • Ensure that The Perth Glory Way and the values Perth Glory espouses (Loyalty, Passion, Respect, Innovation, Excellence, Trust) is incorporated in all interviews, media engagements, public relations and social media.

The Club has progressed in leaps and bounds since 2015 and its people are now focused and united under the one banner of “The Perth Glory Way”.  Having a clear strategy and direction has definitely provided a good framework for everyone at the club.


Examining some of these measures shows how Perth Glory has progressed. Take the football performance goal “where innovative, exciting and brilliant football are the core to delivering success.”

Under Kenny Lowe’s stewardship (from season 2014/15), the team has seen its best win-draw-loss ratio (34W – 19D – 21L) in Hyundai A-League history.

In fact, since unveiling The Perth Glory Way on 24 February, 2016, our team has earned the second highest number of regular season points and scored the most goals in the A-League, crossing both 2015/16 and 2016/17 A-League seasons.

After finishing 5th in 2015/16 and qualifying for finals, as it stands at Round 20 of the 2016/17 Hyundai A-League season, the club finds itself in fifth (5th) position and only two (2) points from 3rd position.  Perth Glory have not been lower than 6th for the whole season.

The remaining seven (7) rounds provides the club with an opportunity to not only secure 3rd or 4th spot which will see us secure a home final, but also a possible Asian Champions League spot.

The club has scored the third highest number of goals in the A-League this season with 38 goals through the exciting attacking options of Andy Keogh, Adam Taggart, Diego Castro and Chris Harold.  No doubt we need to tighten up at the back where we have been conceding more goals than we would have hoped if we are to realise our ambition of 3rd spot, but then again, as Kenny says, if we keep on scoring more goals than we concede, then we get the same result.

Castro is peaking at the right time, Taggart is scoring goals consistently, Harold is second in goal assists in the league and Liam Reddy has been in superb form in goal.

Perth Glory has focused strongly on growing and developing as a Club.

The goal of “Perth Glory will be a club for all Western Australians in which they can be proud, always” is part of the reason why Perth Glory have brought in so many Western Australians of absolute merit into the team. The sight of a full “Shed” at the Northern end of nib Stadium shows the pride is back.

Our social hashtags of #GLORYISOURS #WAPRIDE has resonated with the Perth Glory faithful who have so much hope for their club and team.


What has all of this meant for the crowds? One of the goals was for “10,000 Members and 12,500 average attendances by 2018.”

Membership continues to soar at Perth Glory Football Club.  The fans and members have responded to the club’s push for membership and we are grateful for this.  We have now achieved a consecutive club membership record with over 8,500 Members, a 20% increase on the previous season and a 36% increase since 2014/15 and almost double in five (5) years (since 2012/13) as we turn our sights to 10,000 from next season.

Since unveiling The Perth Glory Way, our attendances have been very strong for which we thank our fans and members.

In analysing the numbers, we have the highest percentage change in average attendances in the A-League post the Perth Glory Way being unveiled on 24 February, 2016.  Our average attendances have increased by 56% since that time.

Perth Glory’s average attendance is now 10,700, up from 6,874 in the first part of the 2015/16 season following the unfortunate salary cap saga which plagued the club during the 2014/15 season.  Overall, this year’s crowd average of 10,700 represents an 18% increase on the previous full 2015/16 season.

Our attendance average for 2016/17 is now the highest for the Club in its 12 season A-League history.  We have some big games ahead of us this season and we hope to further improve this average attendance number at home.

Our television audiences have also increased by 15% with average viewership on FoxSports of more than 60,000 viewers nationally.


Our women’s team made us proud this year.  Led by flamboyant ex-player and now coach Bobby Despotovski as well as our world-class captain Samantha Kerr, they qualified for their second W-League Grand Final in three (3) seasons.  A magnificent achievement in itself.

Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to win against Melbourne City on the day in front of a home crowd of over 4,500 people, however, we have a great platform to work from.

The attendance of 4,500 and viewership total of 165,000 on Fox Sports and ABC was a W-League record.

I caught up with the women after the game over a few drinks and they were super excited and can’t wait to get back for next season to go all the way.  A terrific bunch of ladies who we are extremely proud of.

The Grand Final W-League Shirt signed by our Perth Glory Women
After qualifying for the Grand Final with a stunning 5-1 victory over Sydney FC, from L-R, myself, Niki Stanton, Tony Sage, Vanessa Di Bernardo and Bobby Despotovski


A consistent administration helps make progress as a club and I am pleased that we have a stable, dedicated and extremely hardworking team who embody the lofty aspirations of the Perth Glory Way.

As I stated in our message to the Members, our achievements to date is a testament to everyone at the club, on and off the pitch that the Glory Days are back as we strive to hit 10,000 Members and beyond and 12,500 average crowds as our part of our four-year strategic plan.

I work with some amazing people day-to-day and that’s what makes Perth Glory Football Club a special place to work.

In November, 2016, we moved into our new administration and retail headquarters sharing facilities with Western Force and WA Rugby.  It is situated near the training base and we are essentially now within 20-30 metres of each other (football and administration).

Our team store at the new Perth Glory HQ

Over the last 18-months we have also been working on a business case which has been submitted to state government for a new $40M state football centre.  In January, 2017, Premier Colin Barnett, announced a pledge by the Liberal Government of $37M towards the state football centre.  This facility will provide for all the needs of Perth Glory Football Club and Football West with four (4) pitches, floodlights, grandstand for 2,000 and overall capacity of 4,000 and training, high performance and administration facilities.

Special mention must also be made about our Chairman and owner, Tony and wife Lucy, who make a lot of sacrifices to make it all possible.  Their support is essential and very much appreciated.


This season we have also celebrated our 20th season of national competition and it’s been great to be able to pay tribute to our history.

At our Round 1 fixture this season, we managed to gather a number of players and officials from the Club’s inaugural season – 1996/1997 –  to celebrate the occasion.

The occasion was one to celebrate, after all, Perth Glory’s spectacular emergence in 1996 was critical to changing the football landscape in Australia for ever.  In fact, the new A-League was modelled on clubs like Perth Glory, something that is often forgotten and something we as a club should always be proud of.  We were the “game changers” and our forefathers should also be acknowledged for this.

We have also had visits from NSL coaches, Bernd Stange and Mitch d’Avray during the season.  A true feeling of nostalgia at the club and a growing appetite to bring back some success and trophies.

It was also great to gather some of our forefathers together, Nick Tana and Paul Afkos (co-founders of the club) along with current owner and Chairman, Tony Sage.

Too often it is forgotten how Perth Glory spectacularly emerged in 1996 under the National Soccer League and the significant influence they had with re-landscaping football in Australia with the creation of the new A-League.

It was opportune to honour people like Nick Tana and Paul Afkos who founded the club with such boldness and for Tony Sage for carrying the torch and keeping the dream alive.

A rare shot at the Round 1, 2016/17 20th season celebration match. They call this the Perth Glory “money shot” as it’s rare to see all these people together, from L-R, Roger Lefort (original GM), Paul Afkos (Co-founder), Nick Tana (Co-founder), myself and current owner, Tony Sage. It was a great day thoroughly enjoyed by all.
At Round 1, 2016/17, celebrating our 20th season with the inaugural team, coaches and officials. From L-R, myself, Mickey Brennan (Assistant Coach), Tommy Maras (Goalkeeper), Vladimir Beretovac, Bobby Despotovski, Doug Ithier, Vas Kalogeracos, Peter Vukmirovic, Dale Wingell, Mark Wingell, Barry Tate (Kit Man), Alan Mackenzie, Gary Marocchi (Coach), Roger Lefort (General Manager), Robert Zabica (Goalkeeper), Nick Tana (co-founder), Tony Sage (current owner), Paul Afkos (co-founder)
From L-R, Tom Mackay (author), Paul Afkos, Tony Sage, myself, Bernd Stange, Roger Lefort and Gary Marocchi


It was a delight to announce that Perth Glory will play in an international friendly against English Premier League Giants, Chelsea FC at the new world-class Perth Stadium in July / August, 2018.

This has been a terrific initiative by the WA State Government, Tourism WA and Venues Live and look very much forward to the opportunity.

Everyone at Perth Glory, and indeed all of WA, are looking very much forward to one of the world’s biggest football clubs playing international football in our magnificent state of WA and at the state of the art, Perth Stadium.  It would be wonderful to see 50,000 plus fans fill the Perth Stadium for an international football game involving Perth Glory.

Over the last 12-months we have also participated in tournaments in Asia for our young teams with tournaments in Japan and Malaysia.  Our pre-season tour was conducted in the Philippines.

The club is still looking for a suitable partner to take one of our Hyundai A-League games to Asia on an annual basis.  We are continuing along this ambition and having meaningful and regular dialogue with potential Asian partners.

Acknowledging the Premier, Colin Barnett’s announcement that Chelsea is coming to Perth to play Perth Glory FC in July / August, 2018
As appeared in The Western Australian on 29 January

Even above all of the metrics are the clear values that the club now espouses (Loyalty, Passion, Respect, Innovation, Excellence, Trust) in all media and interactions. Perth Glory was recently seen as the most trust worthy sports brand in WA social media.  “Excellence is not an exception, it’s a prevailing attitude”.

The first 12-months of the Perth Glory Way lifespan has been a great start, but there is much more to come. Perth Glory have to keep the successful game plan going. The administration has to ensure that it keeps striving to increase membership, stakeholder relations, and be profitable in its own right. Oprah Winfrey said:

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey

We must always excel, as we have in the last 12-months.

So thanks to a long list of the Perth Glory family that have started this renewed journey to continued success for all of WA. To Tony Sage, Kenny Lowe, our wonderful players, staff, government, sponsors, our phenomenal fans and members, and all the stakeholders we thank you.

Here’s looking forward to the next 12 months of The Perth Glory Way and to our continued successes. #GloryIsOurs