Best of new Glory owner’s first press conference incl. incredible ticket offer

New Perth Glory owner Ross Pelligra has revealed the “three pillars” of Pelligra Group’s ambitious vision for the future of football in Western Australia in his first official press conference since acquiring the A-Leagues club.

On Friday, the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) named the Pelligra Group as the new owners of Perth Glory.

Pelligra was in attendance for the club’s Isuzu UTE A-League clash with Brisbane Roar on Saturday night, and fronted the media the following morning at a press conference held at HBF Park.

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Joined by WA Deputy Premier Rita Saffioti, WA Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman, APL independent chairman Stephen Conroy and Glory CEO Anthony Radich, both Pelligra and State Government outlined the way forward for both the club and football in the state, with Deputy Premier Saffioti revealing a three-pronged investment package focused on community sport, the prospect of future training facilities and negotiations around the club’s stadium deal at HBF Park.

“We’ve got three pillars we’re going to be concentrating on initially with our purchase of Perth Glory,” Pelligra said.

“To make sure we connect back with the community, we make the club sustainable and for us, it’s about making sure we’ve got a club that can live beyond the Pelligra family, that the club itself becomes its own entrepreneur, and effectively works with all the community – and I mean that.

New Perth Glory Chairman Ross Pelligra at his first press conference since acquiring the club.

“In Australia, we haven’t embraced football like we should.

“On the world map, our sport is a massive employer, it integrates and brings a lot of communities, businesses and people together. But also, it makes people travel. So for myself, having Perth as my home club now, I’ll be travelling here a fair bit. I’m going to probably become a resident here in Perth and work with the community, so I’m really looking forward (to it).”

A private, family-owned business, Pelligra Group has a 100% interest in Catania Football Club s.r.l., while in Australia the group has ownership in basketball, baseball and ice hockey clubs.

Read more about Pelligra Group here

Pelligra and Perth Glory CEO Anthony Radich.

Pelligra says it’s imperative for Glory’s new ownership to put the people of WA at the heart of the club’s operations.

“One thing that we will be doing is listening to everyone, to understand what the needs are, and how we can create a football club for the people of WA,” he said.

“This is a club that belongs to WA, it’s in the hearts of WA people and we’ve got to make sure it’s got the ownership of the local people. 

“For me, it’s all about making sure the club sustains and is going to be strong, and stay on its own two feet.”

Watching on from the stands as his new club defeated Brisbane Roar 3-2 at HBF Park on Saturday night, Pelligra said witnessing passionate young fans come together in strong numbers was the inspiration behind offering free tickets to 3,000 fans under the age of 16 when Perth take on leaders Wellington Phoenix at HBF Park on Saturday, February 24.

“Seeing the excitement last night come from The Shed at the front from the young 15, 16, 14-year-olds, 12-year-olds, 10-year-olds – for next weeks game, the first 3,000 under-16s that will be purchasing tickets will be for free,” Pelligra said.

“I want to invite a lot of young under-16-year-olds to come to the game, brothers, sisters, please bring your mum and dad along as well. It’s important the family comes along. It’s a family event.

“This is our first step showing our commitment to the younger kids, to the grassroots, we want to see them come from all over WA, not just the city fringes. For us, it’s important we have the young minds in the club, because they’re going to be the next generation of this club.”