Glory secure full season at NIB

Perth Glory will play all 14 home matches of the 2016-17 season at nib Stadium after resolving an issue which threatened to see it forced to move two games interstate.

The official release of the 2016-17 A-League fixture draw, which will occur publicly on Thursday, was delayed by the nib Stadium issue.

Glory managed to resolve the problem with the aid of the State Government, after being told by venue operator VenuesWest to consider alternative locations for home games in November and March due to tentative bookings on similar dates.

Turf maintenance around the Christmas period had also forced Perth to compromise, leaving Glory CEO Peter Filopoulos publicly annoyed, but a solution has been found.

“Unfortunately we did experience some availability issues with the venue,” Filopoulos told FourFourTwo. 

“We had to work very hard with the venue and the State Government to overcome those issues. 

“I’m pleased to say that we’ve resolved them.”

In the 2016-17 draw, Glory will host eight Saturday night fixtures, as well as an experimental Friday night game.

Glory has unexpectedly benefitted from Optus claiming the English Premier League rights, with Fox Sports willing to have Perth kick-off games at 10pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time due to a lack of other football content. 

“It’s no secret that what we’re trying to do is make Saturday night a permanent fixture for us,” Filopoulos said. 

“Being summer, the seven o’clock kick-offs on Saturday nights works with our club’s fans and members.”

Filopoulos is hopeful the favourable fixtures will help the club achieve its strategic goals as outlined by The Perth Glory Way, which was made public in February.

Glory aims to have 10,000 Members and average crowds of 12,500 by 2020.

“We’re striving to achieve 8,500 Members next season, on the back of achieving 7,100 last season and 6,249 the year before,” Filopoulos said. 

“Even the season just finished, we broke our own record on the back of the dramas we had the year before. I’m confident we’ll exceed the 8,500 target. 

“The sentiment among fans and Members is remarkably different and they are rallying behind what we’re building. They can see the exciting times.”

“Our crowds this calendar year are averaging around 11,500. We had a slow start. 

“We’re not far away from getting to where we want to be but we’ve still got to work hard with our fans, Members and football participation base to ensure we maintain that.”