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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
'Frustrated' Glory A-League chief quits

By Justin Chadwick

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage says frustration led to the decision of chief executive Paul Kelly to quit his post, despite the A-League club still being in the mix to secure the services of soccer superstar David Beckham.

Kelly, who arrived at the Glory in 2010, will stand down on January 2, but will remain on the club's board.

Deputy chairman Lui Giuliani will take over as chief executive on an interim basis.

Sage has no doubt the club's unresolved bid for compensation over the reduced capacity of nib Stadium played a part in Kelly's decision to resign.

The venue, which is being redeveloped, could only fit 9500 fans at the start of the season, although capacity has since been raised to 11,000.

Perth have lodged a $1.2 million claim with the state government over lost revenue, but Sage said the lingering nature of the situation would have caused Kelly much frustration.

"He (Kelly) just feels like he's hitting his head against a brick wall and that maybe it's time for someone else to have a go," Sage told ABC radio.

Beckham recently finished his five-year stint with LA Galaxy and will wait until the new year before declaring his next port of call.

The A-League remains a distinct possibility to land his services, with the likes of Perth, Melbourne Heart, Central Coast and Western Sydney all interested in his signature.

The Glory have already tabled Beckham a package worth just under $2 million in their bid to secure him for a 10-game guest stint.

Perth were in a state of turbulence early in Kelly's tenure, with coach Dave Mitchell stepping aside in October 2010 before the Glory went on to finish a club-worst 10th.

The pressure on the club continued to rise early last season after a slow start to the campaign.

But the Glory finished in a flurry under coach Ian Ferguson, with the club reaching the grand final before losing 2-1 to Brisbane Roar in heartbreaking fashion.

Perth, who sit sixth on the table this season, are just two points adrift of fourth-placed Newcastle ahead of Saturday night's clash with the Heart at AAMI Park.

Kelly said he was satisfied with what he achieved at the club, but felt the time was right to hand over the reins.

"The club was on its knees three years ago, but Perth Glory can now look to a future with real positivity," Kelly said.

Sage, who has poured about $15 million of his own money into the club over the past six years, was full of praise for Kelly's contribution.

"He has played a significant role in an important time in the history of this great football club," Sage said.




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