Axed Dave Mitchell just wasn’t good enough

Perth Glory director of football Dave Mitchell has been axed, with his position made redundant after an exhaustive independent review criticised the A-League club’s recent record of player recruitment.

Mitchell took over as Glory coach midway through the 2007/08 campaign but stepped down after round nine this season following a four-game losing streak.

Despite boasting one of the highest-paid squads in the league, including former Socceroos Mile Sterjovski, Jacob Burns, Chris Coyne, former Bundesliga striker Branko Jelic and Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, the Glory bombed out to finish a lowly 10th, cobbling together just five wins to only narrowly avoid the wooden spoon.

An independent review into the club’s failings, conducted by former Fremantle Dockers chief executive David Hatt with help from Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth, found major flaws in the Glory’s player recruitment.

Mitchell only moved into the newly-formed director of football role in October.

But given he was responsible for most of the players recruited over the past two seasons, he paid the price.

“There is no doubt that recruitment over the past two years has been largely unsuccessful,” Hatt said in the report.

 “More needs to be done in the recruitment area to guard against the presence of players who simply seek a superannuated end to their careers.

“There is nothing more important than good recruiting outcomes for the Perth Glory in its present state.”

The report recommended, “With all things being equal the club should look first at youth and where possible Western Australian youth when making a recruitment decision and where appropriate err on the side of speed and agility (tested from a reliable source such as AIS, WAIS, VIS etc).”

Owner Tony Sage re-iterated his commitment to the club despite losing millions of dollars since taking over, while Ian Ferguson will stay on as coach.

The review also found a desperate need for the Glory to establish a combined training and administration facility with peak body Football West, most likely at a tertiary facility.

The review also recommended a players’ leadership group be set up and the club look at alternative venues for matches due to the crippling playing costs at nib Stadium.

Buford Balony says: About time, Ferguson next.

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