New owner wants Perth Glory to be the envy of everyone

Justin Chadwick |

New owner Ross Pelligra wants to bring the good times back to Perth Glory.
New owner Ross Pelligra wants to bring the good times back to Perth Glory.

Melbourne property developer Ross Pelligra has set his sights on returning Perth Glory to their powerhouse status after being unveiled as the new owner of the A-League club.

Glory – back-to-back National Soccer League champions in the competition’s last two seasons before the formation of the A-League in 2004 – had been in receivership since last July, when then-owner Tony Sage handed back the licence after struggling to keep the club running.

A planned sale to Primeland boss Robert Brij spectacularly collapsed in November, with the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) on Friday naming the Pelligra Group as Glory’s new owners.

Pelligra already owns Italian Serie C side Catania, as well as the Adelaide Lightning women’s basketball team, the Adelaide Giants baseball team, and the Canberra Braves and Adelaide Adrenaline ice hockey teams.

It’s believed former Socceroos star Mark Bresciano, a current Football Australia board director, will be part of the new Glory hierarchy under the Pelligra consortium.

Another former Socceroo – Vince Grella – is also believed to be involved.

“I’m relishing the prospect of re-establishing Glory as a benchmark club of Australian football,” Pelligra said in a statement after the sale was confirmed.  

“I distinctly remember watching Perth Glory on TV when I was a child back in Melbourne and thinking that football had arrived in this country when I saw a packed Perth Oval every home game.

“Glory played an exciting and attacking brand of football that had everyone in Perth and greater WA captivated. 

“I want to return the club back to the Glory days.  

“We want it to be the envy of every other A-League club, just like it was when it was first founded.  

“I know that we have a strong football community here in Perth and it’s time to reunite.”

The Pelligra Group is a private, family owned business.

Perth Glory celebrate a goal in the A-League Women.
The Glory’s women’s team currently lie sixth in the ALW. (Andrew Cornaga/AAP PHOTOS)

A-Leagues commissioner Nick Garcia said Pelligra represents a stable owner for Glory.

“Ross is a successful business and football operator, both locally and abroad, and this experience and his passion for the world game is a great asset for Perth Glory and the A-Leagues,” Garcia said.

“We believe that with this new ownership, the future of Perth Glory is in safe hands and we look forward to seeing them deliver success both on and off the pitch.”

Glory’s dire financial situation forced them to ship midfielder Salim Khelifi to Melbourne Victory in January on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Adding to Glory’s woes was the fact they weren’t able to extend Oliver Bozanic’s loan deal in Perth.

But the new ownership means Glory’s hands are no longer tied, with Pelligra keen to invest heavily in the club. 

Pelligra will be in the stands for Saturday night’s A-League Men home clash with the Brisbane Roar. 

Glory remain second last on the ALM table, despite being unbeaten in their past four matches, while the women’s team lie sixth in the ALW.