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Sport Sage's losses in Glory to blow out to $35m

06:15  26 march  2020
06:15  26 march  2020 Source:   msn.com

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PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 15: Glory owner Tony Sage poses during a Perth Glory A-League media session at Optus Stadium on May 15, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) © 2019 Getty Images PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 15: Glory owner Tony Sage poses during a Perth Glory A-League media session at Optus Stadium on May 15, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Perth Glory owner Tony Sage is preparing to drop more than $3 million this season - bringing his total losses at the A-League club to around $35 million.

Sage was already budgeting to lose $2.5 million this campaign, but the coronavirus pandemic could see that figure blow out to $3.5 million.

The A-League season is on hold with no guarantees it will resume.

Even if it does restart, it's almost certain games will be played behind closed doors, and Glory's four home matches may need to be played outside Western Australia.

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"I've lost four home games at the end of this season," Sage told AAP.

"Each game generates $200,000. So that's an $800,000 hit straight away, and that's just on gate sales and the sales I get from catering.

"We're also missing out on merchandising and the like, which we haven't quite defined yet. We probably take $25,000 per game at the merchandise stalls.

"It's a massive loss just in that last four games, and we already budgeted for a 2.5 million loss."

The WA businessman has been Glory's owner since 2007 - and sole owner since 2009.

His losses each season have been substantial, but he doesn't regret his decision to buy the club.

"It will be about $35 million now since I started 14 years ago," Sage said.

"I love football. Look at the numbers - 1.9 million registered players across Australia.

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On his first outing he set out to Limehouse Causeway, spending his first night in a common lodging house, possibly George Levy' s 'kip'. He returned to teaching at Hayes and prepared for the publication of his book, now known as Down and Out in Paris and London.

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"There is a big future for professional football and grass roots football in this country, and I don't see it as a loss, I see it as an investment."

Sage considered selling a 80 per cent stake of the club to controversial cryptocurrency firm London Football Exchange earlier this year, but eventually decided against it.

He hasn't given up hope of luring another investor despite the financial carnage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In adversity there's a silver lining, and some investors might want to see it as a perfect opportunity to come in now," Sage said.

"I have not hidden for 18 months now that to compete in professional sport you need funds. Having a partner would help in that."

Sage was part of a phone hook-up with other A-League owners on Wednesday night. Another one will be held on Thursday night.

Clubs could start announcing their cost-cutting measures later this week.

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"We have to do what's necessary for each individual club to survive," Sage said.

"But as a collective, we'd like to get all the advice and thrash it out tonight and each individual club will make its own decision based on what FFA are telling us."

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