23/11/2004 - 21:00

Glory shoots for new goal

23/11/2004 - 21:00

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Glory shoots for new goal

Perth Glory chairman Nick Tana is planning to sell down his 75 per cent stake in the soccer club to instead have a 10 per cent holding in the planned listed entity that will own the club.

That is the latest proposal being considered by Perth Glory, which is contemplating a public listing in either February or March.

Perth Glory CEO Jeff Dennis said the club’s co-owner, David Rodwell, had also proposed selling down his 25 per cent stake to a 10 per cent holding as part of the listing.

While he will be reducing his interest considerably, Mr Tana is still expected to remain chairman of the club with Mr Rodwell to keep his role as a director.

Perth Glory’s other directors, Tony Difrancesco and Orlando Fernandes, will also have seats on the listed body’s board.

Mr Dennis said it was not yet decided whether other directors would be added to the newly listed Perth Glory’s board, or how much it would aim to raise from the listing.

However, he said whatever funds were collected from the raising would be put towards working capital and funding the club’s growth activities.

“It’s also an opportunity for every supporter to own a piece of the club,” Mr Dennis said.

Perth Glory has a $6 million-a-year turnover but has not made a profit for the past three years, something Mr Dennis blamed on the state of Australian soccer over that time.

He is confident those problems have been addressed with the new-look national soccer competition that is due to start next August.

The 13 teams that made up the old national league will be replaced by eight geographically based teams – one team from each of Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, and New Zealand, and three teams for New South Wales.

Besides the soccer club, which the sport’s governing body the Australian Soccer Association held up as a benchmark for other clubs, Perth Glory also has, through its subsidiary Allia Holdings, the naming, catering and management rights for Members Equity stadium for the next 20 years. It pays the Town of Vincent $400,000 a year for those rights but Mr Dennis said it had not yet worked out how much they were worth to the business.

The rights contract was only finalised in July after more than a year of negotiations with the Vincent council.

“Those rights provide us with a huge potential because this is to be a sports and cultural centre,” Mr Dennis said. “We’re well positioned to have a two-tiered cost structure for local events and national and international events.”

Two concerts, two National Rugby League matches and some WA Rugby League games are already booked for the ground next year.

“And then there are the possibilities if WA wins the right to host a Super 14s side,” Mr Dennis said.

The WA Government has already committed to spend $25 million to increase the stadium’s seating from 18,500 to 22,500.

Mr Dennis said Perth Glory had gone a long way towards its aim of building up soccer’s profile in WA.

He said Perth Glory still held the record for attendance of any sport at the redeveloped Subiaco Oval with 42,424 spectators going through the oval’s turnstiles for its first grand final there in 2000.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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