PREVIEW: Perth’s new owner funds scheme to scupper league leaders Phoenix

posted in: A-League (Men), News

New Perth Glory owner Ross Pelligra has come up with a plan to stack his side’s home advantage against men’s A-League leaders Wellington Phoenix.

Property mogul Pelligra — a Melbourne multi-millionaire who also owns Italian third-tier club Catania — is stumping up the money to pay for 3,000 fans under 16 to attend Saturday evening’s match at HBF Park.

Main photo: Ross Pelligra … Glory’s new owner.

Tickets for fans aged 3-16 usually cost between $17.50 and $27.50 at HBF Park, so the value of Pelligra’s offer is between $50,000 and $80,000.

Pelligra was encouraged by the young faces he saw in the crowd for Glory’s 3-2 win against Brisbane Roar in the first game since the Pelligra Group took over the club’s ownership.

The Glory have been funded by Australian Professional Leagues since former owner Tony Sage was stripped of the club’s A-League licence in July 2023.

Pelligra, who has pledged $4 million a year to underwrite the club, urged fans to get to HBF Park for the match against the Phoenix.

“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,” he told

“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.”

Despite the disparity between the two club’s standings in the league — Perth are 10th on the table — Saturday’s match will test the Wellington Phoenix.

Perth Glory are the league’s highest goalscorers, with 35 goals in their 17 games.

The Nix average just over 10 shots per game, the fewest of any A-League team in the 2023-24 season.

And if Pelligra’s plan to produce a bumper home crowd works, the Phoenix’s unbeaten start to 2024 could be under threat.

At his media briefing, Phoenix head coach Giancarlo Italiano said: “At home, new owner, new context, so it’s going to be a tough game.”

PREVIEW: ‘We focus on the stuff we can control’ — Phoenix coach Italiano >>>>

How to watch

The game will be broadcast LIVE on Sky Sport 7 in New Zealand and on Paramount+ in Australia.


Game to be played on Saturday February 24, 2024

Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix 
HBF Park, Perth, 11.45pm (NZT)

Table at 8am (NZT) on Saturday February 24.


Perth Glory (one to be omitted)

1. Oli SAIL (gk), 3. Jacob MUIR, 7. Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 9. David WILLIAMS, 13. Cameron COOK (gk), 14. Riley WARLAND, 15. Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 16. Josh RAWLINS, 17. Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 19. Trent OSTLER, 20. Giordano COLLI, 22. Adam TAGGART (co-c), 23. Daniel BENNIE, 27. Jayden GORMAN, 28. Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI, 29. Darryl LACHMAN, 31. Joel ANASMO, 34. Andriano LEBIB, 77. Bruce KAMAU.

Unavailable: 2. Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (injured), 5. Mark BEEVERS (co-c) (injured), 8. Mustafa AMINI (injured), 11. Adam ZIMARINO (injured), 21. Antonis MARTIS (injured).

Wellington Phoenix (one to be omitted)

3. Finn SURMAN, 4. Scott WOOTTON, 5. Fin CONCHIE, 6. Tim PAYNE, 8. Ben OLD, 9. Oskar ZAWADA, 10. David BALL, 11. Bozhidar KRAEV, 12. Mo AL-TAAY, 14. Alex RUFER (c), 17. Youstin SALAS, 18. Lukas KELLY-HEALD, 23. Luke SUPYK, 24. Oskar VAN HATTUM, 25. Jack DUNCAN (gk), 26. Isaac HUGHES, 40. Alex PAULSEN (gk), 43. Matt SHERIDAN, 51. Gabriel SLOANE-RODRIGUES.

Unavailable: 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES (injured), 15. Nicholas PENNINGTON (injured), 19. Sam SUTTON (injured).

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