Glory’s treatment of Harnwell is no surprise

-

Perth Glory recently announced that its W-League team would be brought under the club’s control having been run by Football West for seven years.

In that period, thanks in large part to coach Jamie Harnwell, they went from the second worst team in the competition to last season’s Premiers’ Plate winners and Grand Final runners up.

The move was welcomed by the club’s fans who have been very supportive of the women’s side in their transition from bottom to top.

“This is an exciting and promising day for football across the state,” said club owner Tony Sage when the alignment was confirmed.

However, what we didn’t know initially was that Harnwell was no guarantee to remain in the role, with the club posting an article on its website calling for applicants.

The news left many scratching their heads; why would a coach who had brought success to a club that as recently as December 2011 had lost 11-0 to Sydney not be one of the safest in the country?

The former Glory defender/striker was understandably frustrated with the news and has today aired his views in an interview with The West Australian newspaper.

“I’m not going to apply, I’ve had enough of being treated like this, really,” he said.

“As much as I’m disappointed to leave the girls and not be involved again, I’ve got too much pride and professionalism to do something like that. It’s been 17 years that I’ve been involved with the club in some capacity or another and to be treated like this, I’ve had enough.

“I’ve got no real feeling or passion for the club at all now. It’s all sort of wiped away, which is a shame given the history I’ve got with it.”

Those words will be very hard to read for many supporters who have grown up with Harnwell as a mainstay of their club.

Harnwell’s comments about the salary cap saga that derailed the club’s most recent A-League campaign may have been a contributing factor to the club’s decision.

He described the demotion to seventh place as “a sad indictment of the club” and believed that it would put a lot of people off returning to nib Stadium.

However, those opinions have nothing to do with the simple fact that he is the best person to continue developing the women’s team.

This isn’t the first time that the Glory hierarchy has fallen out with a club legend in recent years with former skipper Gareth Naven seeking to have his contract paid out following his dismissal from a coaching position.

Naven, who was given life membership to the club in 2004, believed he was owed $104,508 from the club and, as of April 1 this year, there had been no resolution.

Another former player, Alistair Edwards, was given the bullet after less than ten months in charge of the first team back in December 2013 while assistant coach Scott Miller was also shown the door a few months later.

Glory have recently appointed a new CEO in Peter Filopoulos to succeed salary cap fall guy Jason Brewer but the problems run a lot deeper than that role and issue, and now the women’s team is caught up in the mess.

Irrespective of Harnwell’s status as a club legend, his re-appointment as W-League coach should never have been up for debate based on the team’s development and performances.

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

mm
Neil Sherwin
Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required