Perth Glory owner Tony Sage has struck a deal that will see the A-League Men’s club host two games in early January – but only if the Western Australia State Government comes to the party.
As it stands, Glory will play their season opener against Adelaide United in Perth this Saturday night, before playing their next nine matches on the road, one of which is an FFA Cup fixture.
But Sage has negotiated a fixture swap with the owners of Sydney FC and Western Sydney that will allow Glory to ease the travel burden.
Under the deal, Glory will host the Sky Blues on January 2 and Wanderers on January 8 – games that are currently scheduled for NSW.
In return, Glory will play Sydney FC and Western Sydney in NSW later in the season instead of in Perth.
But with WA not due to open its border until late January or early February, Glory’s hopes of hosting the games in early January now rests with the WA State Government.
Sage is hopeful a deal can be struck to allow the games to go ahead in Perth under strict quarantine protocols.
“The protocol would be they (the opposing team) get tested, they leave their state on a plane, come straight to a hotel, and they’re not allowed to go out, just like the AFL teams,” Sage said.
“In our case (they will be here) just for a night. They will go straight to the ground, and then straight back to either the airport or the hotel.
“That’s the protocol we’ve put forward, and it’s being reviewed by the WA Health.
“Hopefully that happens, because it wasn’t easy convincing the owners of Sydney FC and Western Sydney to give up home games in early January.
“But they see our plight, and we’re a very good unified group of owners.”
NBL outfit Perth Wildcats and BBL team Perth Scorchers are among other Perth-based sporting outfits attempting to convince the WA State Government to relax its restrictions so games can be held in Perth in December and January.
The fifth Ashes Test, scheduled for January 14, is almost certain to go ahead in Perth.
“All sports have really bandied together to talk to WA Health about allowing teams to basically fly in, fly out,” Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said.
“The games would be under a quarantine environment at the stadium as well. Fingers crossed we’ll get a positive announcement by the end of this week hopefully.”
The signing of former Liverpool and England star Daniel Sturridge has sparked huge excitement among Glory fans.
Glory are hopeful of attracting a crowd in excess of 15,000 for Saturday night’s match against Adelaide, with Sturridge expected to play a cameo off the bench.