A plan to sell Perth Glory to the LFE cryptocurrency firm is over, but the deal never added up – ABC News

Updated February 26, 2020 11:59:14

Right from the start, something did not seem right about this.

Was it the shed in rural Wales that was supposedly the office of the London Football Exchange (LFE), or the pantomime LFE "founder" Jim Aylward and his obscure video messages about his group's takeover of Perth Glory?

"We are building a football group that is leading to a tokenised ecosystem, so there is going to be utility for the token," he explained on Twitter after the news broke.

It could have been the push by those involved with LFE urging Glory supporters to buy into this cryptocurrency token, even though the group did not yet own the Perth club.

Whatever it was, even Glory owner Tony Sage seemed to be caught unaware.

At first, he said he was on his way to the Europe to finalise a deal to sell 80 per cent of the club to the cryptocurrency group.

He would retain 20 per cent of the Glory and become chairman of the LFE's football group.

That didn't really add up either.

The proposed new owner of the Glory had ambitious goals to buy clubs in France and the English Premier League, but it was unclear how exactly the group would pay for it.

Would it be in cryptocurrency? Would it be cash? Would it be debt?

They were all questions that couldn't be answered probably because there were no answers, as those involved in the proposed sale did not know themselves.

Things turned even more bizarre over the next few days with mixed messages and contradictions adding to the confusion.

The Glory and LFE released a joint statement saying they had reached an agreement for the club to be acquired by LFE.

Sage was quoted in it saying: "The LFE is designed and manned by fans for fans [and it] makes me proud to say I am part of the team and that PGFC is the cornerstone of this wonderful project."

Two days later though, the club released another statement saying no deal he had been done, with Sage saying: "Don't believe fake news. Your club has not been sold and I have not even sent anything to Football Federation Australia (FFA) for approval."

He said he was continuing to do due diligence on the organisation of which he was supposed to be chairman, something that raised even more questions among the club's fans.

The supporters knew something was up.

The subsequent investigative work by some of the club's passionate fans and their backgrounding of journalists helped get to the core of the story.

Less than two weeks after news of the proposed deal came out, it was all off.

The FFA stayed quiet for much of the process, but released a statement saying the sale would not go ahead, putting an end to what had become a saga.

Sage's love for the Glory has been well documented.

His passion is admirable and the amount of money he has poured into the loss-making club is eye-watering.

But this process has damaged the Glory and had many within it questioning its future direction.

For an experienced and astute businessman, Sage should have seen the red flags the supporters so clearly identified from the outset.


First posted February 26, 2020 08:09:33

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A plan to sell Perth Glory to the LFE cryptocurrency firm is over, but the deal never added up - ABC News

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