Sage close to making history with A-League clash in Borneo

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage has confirmed the club are set to become the first team to stage an overseas A-League game in Asia, with the Malaysian-governed state of Sarawak the venue.

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage Source: Getty Images

Glory have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the Sarawak FA to host the history-making game next season on the island of Borneo.

Sage claims FFA are on board with the concept, so long as an agreement can be struck with an A-League opponent in what he believes will be an important step in a deepening engagement with Asia.

Sage’s ultimate goal is to see teams from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia be incorporated into the A-League as part of the promised expansion process in 2019-2020 and beyond.

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“It will be fantastic to play in Malaysia,” said the man who has pumped close to $20 million into Glory over the past decade.

“Why the FFA looks inwards for expansion, when we have over 300 million football-mad supporters in Asia seven hours to our north, is beyond me.



“It just takes bold decisions and a bit of politicking with the AFC (to make things happen).

“I’d bring in four teams over the next two stages of the expansion process - one from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

“It would greatly enhance the numbers of people watching and following our football and, most importantly, boost our broadcast revenue.”

Glory plan to jet to Borneo for a pre-season tour in August, taking in two friendlies against Sarawak as the foundation for A-League engagement gathers momentum.

Whether under-pressure coach Kenny Lowe will still be in charge then will be determined by a looming end-of-season review by Glory’s football department.



Lowe was unable to steer a Glory side laden with talent to the finals, but Sage was circumspect in his assessment of the coach’s performance.

“The football director (Jacob Burns) and CEO (Peter Filopoulos) are doing a season review with Kenny over next week,” he said.

“I am awaiting their recommendations. I think we had a poor season due to injuries and the FFA scheduling with nine of our first 13 away.

“No other team had as many players missing games through injury as us, or had to deal with such shocking scheduling.

“When Kenny did have his full squad available we beat the second, third and fourth placed teams in the past five weeks.

“We also scored twice against Sydney FC, which has happened only three times in two seasons.

“So, overall, not too bad an effort by Kenny and the team.”


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3 min read
Published 17 April 2018 at 8:37pm
By Dave Lewis