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A Western Perspective: The true, undeniable losers of the Perth Glory salary cap saga

krisopIt is a dark day in Western Australian sport.

Actually, I’m probably being too kind in my wording, it is the darkest day in Western Australian sport.

Mortified isn’t the word that describes the feeling that was contained in the pit of my stomach as the announcement was handed down in regards to the Perth Glory salary cap saga.

And, whilst an appeal is in the works, it is safe to say that the season is done and dusted for another year for the boys in purple.

Forget #NOTGIVINGIN, it’s more a case of #NOTHANDINGIN appropriate financial details to Football Federation Australia.

The Glory have had their share of controversies this year, be it the teenagers tasked with twitter maintenance posting lewd comments to the clubs twitter, or the boozy night out in Adelaide — but these were all supposed to be speed bumps to our year, our return to the head of the pantheon that is the Hyundai A-League.

I feel hollow, a sentiment I can only believe is shared not least by me, but the thousands of fans who showed up and bled purple last night.

Did the club do wrong? Yes. Did the club deserve to be punished? Absolutely. Is it the right method of penalty? Debatable.

Whilst Keogh was outside the cap this year, the majority of breaches stem back from previous years, when the majority of the current squad were plying their football trade elsewhere.

Nearly half the squad this year is new, and along with the members who have shelled out hundreds per capita in gear this year, are being unfairly punished by this ruling.

We’ve waited 24 months in the football wilderness to return to the mecca that is A-League football and have a red hot go at challenging for Asian Champions League football.

Now, with weeks to go, we’re simply playing for pride.

There is something about this decision that hurts, much like the 2011-12 grand final against the Roar but on a whole new level.

We were struck down by one of our own, and even if the penalty is overly severe, we now face another 12 months of soul searching, and another six months of off-season, perhaps elongated with the perpetuity of regret.

Some of our greatest memories of this season, the Risdon Rocket, the Zadkovich wonder goal, and let’s not forget half the stunners from Nebojsa Marinkovic that found the back of the net — all will now go down under a highlight reel that makes reference to our ‘cheating’.

No, we the fans did not ‘cheat’, and yet we are cruelly consigned this fait accompli for the rest of the season.

For us now, what helps heal the wound?

Does head rolling achieve anything when the existing issues pre-date the current CEO?

Does healing the wound by fire achieve anything?

The answer to this question lay in the hearts of the eleven wronged players on the pitch last night, and the thousands of equally wronged onlookers in the stands, as they tried to make sense of the footballing landscape they’d been provided.

About the author

avatarKris is a freelance sports journalist, a two-time WA media guild award winner, and podcast host and writer for Ultimate A-League.

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  • britesparke

    The FFA have singlehandedly managed to damage what would have been an even more exciting finals series with the participation of the Perth Glory. In 2005/6 Sydney FC exceeded the salary cap yet were allowed to be described as champions for that season and their punishment was metered out the following season. As a neutral I have enjoyed the progress of the Glory this season and I believe the matter should have been settled after the season proper. There needs to be consistency in decision making. All they have achieved is to devalue the competition, the Glory and its fanbase and the A League community.

  • Dr Venkman

    If the FFA are going to write off this season for the Glory them i believe they are obligated to use the fine money to refund our memberships.

  • timtamtom

    So it’s the fault of FFA that your club is a cheat. You might not like it buy its Perth Glory’ that took your honest money. You want your member money back get it off Tony Sage.

  • iseered

    No, it’s Glory that tried to devalue the comp by trying to cheat their way to the title And got caught. Live wiwith it.

  • Dr Venkman

    If the club has done this then it deserves to be penalized. But it is the FFAs decision to write off the season (which wasn’t done to Sydney) therefore i think it would be a valid gesture to reimburse members so the club is punished and not so much the fans Who support this wonderful game. I’m disappointed by your response as we should pull together as fans.

  • britesparke

    I do not condone what Perth Glory have done. There are a few points to consider here. It was the media who alerted the FFA regarding the salary cap breaches- the first point being that the FFA’s monitoring of the salary cap breaches is ineffective. Had it not been for the media this would not have been detected until much later. So why then, due to their incompetence in the first place, should they decide to be so hamfisted now in their approach?
    Why is Sydney STILL accredited with winning a championship in the first incarnation of the HAL when it cheated? If the FFA are going to do this to Glory, fine, I have no problem with that. But now let’s see them strip Sydney FC of the 2005/6 championship and award it retrospectively to Adelaide United if there is to be any consistency here.
    Finally, salary cap breaches aside, the finals series was shaping up to be the best in a while and the Glory were not certainties to take the Premier’s Plate or the championship as their form has not been great over the last few weeks. The FFA should have waited and then metered out the punishment after the season as they did with Sydney FC in the 2005/6 season.

  • britesparke

    Now that the FFA has acted the way it has with Perth Glory I would like to see the FFA re-visit the 2005/6 season and strip Sydney FC of its title, issue an apology to Adelaide United and award them the championship. It smacks of hypocrisy to act a certain way for this season and to totally be oblivious to what has transpired in the past. Sure the FFA will argue that this was done under a previous administration. So what? Right the wrong now!

  • britesparke

    One final thought. The lack of proper policing of the salary cap is of great concern. These discrepancies should have been picked up much earlier in the season (at least before the halfway mark but preferably earlier than that) so that offenders can be dealt with without the ridiculous scenario we have now ever eventuating. The warning bells started ringing when Perth got off to a flier in the start of the season -surely this would have signalled an early audit of the books to ensure compliance.The media (to their credit) were on the ball way before the brains trust at FFA.