The West

Liverpool cost too much for WA
Liverpool cost too much for WA

WA soccer fans have been denied the chance to see Liverpool clash with Perth Glory later this year because the State Government refused to help fund a 10-day visit by the English giants.

The opportunity to sign an agreement that could have seen Liverpool in Perth for the next three years has also been lost.

The Government's event arm, Eventscorp, needed about $1.5 million to fund the July visit that would have included training camps and player appearances, with the highlight being a game at Patersons Stadium.

But Eventscorp had already spent its $30 million budget. The other option would have been for Perth Glory to outlay $1.5 million and hand over half the game's gate receipts.

"It would have been great to have Liverpool in Perth but it was not commercially viable for Perth Glory," Glory's chief operations officer John Boardman said.

Liverpool will now play Melbourne Victory at the MCG after the Victorian Government stepped in with the necessary funding.

Football West chief executive Peter Hugg was disappointed WA soccer supporters had missed out on the chance to see one of the world's biggest clubs in Perth.

"Fans continue to miss out. It would have been an enormous boost for the game," Hugg said.

"Now any fan that wants to see Liverpool will have to fly to Melbourne. They will do that and spend WA money in Victoria.

"Who will benefit from the economic impact?"

A spokeswoman for Tourism Minister Kim Hames said the Liverpool visit was "passed over" because the Government was not prepared to extend Eventscorp funding.

"Eventscorp has a budget for events," the spokeswoman said.

"They were approached about the Liverpool FC trip and they asked their Minister for additional funds to add this event to their schedule of events.

"As is the case with all government agencies, they were advised they would have to operate within their existing budget allocation."

Hugg said Football West would continue talks with the Government, Eventscorp, agents and clubs to ensure Perth did not miss out again.

"We are working with Eventscorp to have a strategic approach to such opportunities," Hugg said. "These things take time. There needs to be a strategy, not a reactive one-off.

"These pre-season visits provide an opportunity for the WA football family to witness some of the worlds best and most famous players on home soil that they normally only get to see on television."

Scottish giants Celtic played in Perth in July 2011.

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"Fans continue to miss out. It would have been an enormous boost for the game." " Football West chief executive *Peter Hugg *

The West Australian

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