A-League’s Perth Glory set for London Football Exchange takeover

A-League’s Perth Glory set for London Football Exchange takeover
Australian top-flight soccer club Perth Glory’s owner Tony Sage has revealed that he is nearing a deal to sell the A-League outfit to the London Football Exchange (LFE), a blockchain-based soccer stock exchange.

Speaking to 6PR Radio in Perth, Sage confirmed he had been negotiating terms with the company in Dubai and was travelling to London where he hopes to finalise a deal to sell 80 per cent of the club.

Sage revealed that financial pressures have been mounting in recent times, with Perth Glory losing AUD$2.9 million (US$1.9 million) last year, so he had begun looking for outside investment.

“For the last 18 months I’ve been looking for a partner,” Sage told 6PR Radio in Perth. “I’ve had three or four close encounters but they’ve wanted to change things.

“They wanted to change the name of the club, change the colours. So, yeah, I’ve been very reluctant to do it that way.

“I came across a group in London that have a fantastic vision for football.”

Sage was appointed as chairman of LFE Group in January, with a recent statement from LFE confirming the current owner would stay on as the club’s chairman and retain a minority ownership stake in that role. LFE also said that the deal would lead to ‘no significant change’ to Perth's operations once the club changes hands.

“I wanted to retain (a share) because I think the future of Australian football is going to be huge,” Sage added. “We'll be part of a group that has six or seven clubs in it over the next two years.

"From about next season, the owners will own the [A-League] and that's a massive change in itself. The FFA won't be involved.

"We're going to be set now with a big partner, so many opportunities will arise from this transaction if it happens.”

Sage's proposed sale will not go through without gaining the approval of Football Federation Australia (FFA), which has been kept updated on the progress of the deal and must now provide the green light for the sale to become official.

‘Any sale of part of a club is subject to the approval by FFA,’ an FFA spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to Sage, LFE have vast ambitions in soccer ownership, with Perth the first of many clubs being targeted.

“[LFE] want to own seven clubs around the world like the City [Football] Group, but instead of the City [Football] Group rebadging Melbourne Heart to Melbourne City and Yokohama City, New York City, they will let each club keep its own identity,” he said.

Adding: “There’s an offer in for a French club, an Italian club and an [English Premier League] club at the moment.”

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