Glory owner Sage to have heart surgery
Tony Sage. Pic: WA News

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage is to undergo heart surgery after collapsing at the gym.

Sage, 52, who is overseas with business commitments this week, will have the operation when he returns to Australia. He collapsed last month.

Glory coach Ian Ferguson said today that key decisions at the club had been delayed while Sage was sorting out his health problems.

“The chairman has got a few health issues at the moment and he’s got to go into hospital in the next week or so,” Ferguson said.

“I think it’s a bypass, I’m not too sure, it’s something to do with the heart at this moment in time.

“It’s pretty serious and we’ve had to put things on hold at the moment with players and everything else.

“Until Tony comes out and goes through all his health issues then there’s really nothing we can do at this moment in time.

“But we have got a direction; our direction is to go and get into the top six.”

Millionaire mining entrepreneur Sage was caught up in an Australian Federal Police probe in December, with his West Leederville offices raided.

Two offices linked to his business interests were among those targeted in raids in Perth and Sydney as part of an investigation by the AFP, the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Police spent hours inside the building that houses the Perth Glory office and the nearby headquarters for Mr Sage's flagship mining company, Cape Lambert Resources.

The office of the Glory, which shares its Oxford Close address with several mining companies, was not the subject of the search warrant.

The Glory confirmed Sage's surgery and said the owner was still closely watching the team's form.

"Tony is expected to make a full recovery from this procedure and will be in attendance at the next Perth Glory home game versus Central Coast Mariners on 16 February 2013," the statement said.

"He appreciates the well wishes and messages of support from fans and sponsors, and reaffirms his 100 per cent commitment to Perth Glory and believes the team can still play a meaningful part in the upcoming Hyundai A-League finals series."

Sage’s health complications have contributed to the off-field issues raised yesterday by disgruntled defender Michael Thwaite.

Thwaite launched an extraordinary broadside at Glory management, claiming the club had lacked direction and leadership this season.

Thwaite expressed disappointment that Billy Mehmet, Jesse Makarounas and Bas van den Brink were all allowed to leave the club without a transfer fee in January despite being under contract.

Van den Brink, who had partnered Thwaite in the centre of defence, departed citing uncertainty over his future at the club.

Glory slumped to last place on the A-League table after losing to fellow strugglers Wellington last week and are winless in seven games.

But they remain just two points outside the top six with eight games to play.

Meanwhile, Ferguson hopes new Argentine signing Matias Cordoba holds the key to unlocking opposition defences as the WA club battles to stay in the finals hunt.

Glory officially unveiled Cordoba today after receiving the relevant clearances this week and will include him in the squad for this week’s game against Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park.

Matias Cordoba at Glory training last week. Pic: Dione Davidson/WA News

Cordoba, 28, is a former Argentinos Juniors player and had stints in Major League Soccer and the Mexican top flight. His last club was Chilean outfit Deportes La Serena.

“He’s technically very good and he’s got good movement in him so we’re hoping that he can come into the team pretty quickly,” Ferguson said.

“He’s been working hard to get his fitness levels up and we’ll see where it takes him over the next (two) training sessions.

“He retains the ball very well from what we’ve seen in training.

“He’s more of an assist player but he scored five goals last year when he played with the bottom-of-the-league team and he assisted in a few as well, which is good, and that’s what we hope he’ll bring us.

“We’re hoping he’ll chip in and hoping he’ll create and give us a little bit of what we’re looking for at the moment in that final third.”

Cordoba has not played competitively since November and his fitness levels have been questioned in some quarters outside the club, but Ferguson said he had been pleased with what the new signing had shown in training.

“His fitness levels look ok but the only good fitness that you’ll get is when you actually see him in game time,” Ferguson said.

“There’s two types of fitness in football; one’s obviously your training and the next one’s your match.

“I think his last game was in November so he’s not had any match time for quite a while but what he’s been doing in training I’ve been very pleased with.”

Cordoba doesn’t speak much English but said he was happy to be in Perth and was fit to play against Melbourne Heart this week.

Cordoba said he would look to attack and hoped to help his new club qualify the finals, which he believed they could.

Glory will be boosted by the return of marquee striker Shane Smeltz this week but captain Jacob Burns is likely to miss a third successive game with a back injury.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West