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Dec 17, 2013

Perth Glory sack Edwards

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage said the club was left with no other option than to sack coach Alistair Edwards as fallout from a player-led coup continues to hit the club.

Alistair Edwards has been sacked by Perth Glory.
Alistair Edwards has been sacked by Perth Glory.

Revelations of a dressing room bust-up between Edwards and a section of senior players, led by Glory captain Jacob Burns, quickly surfaced after Friday’s 2-0 loss to Melbourne Victory.

Burns, who was left on the bench for the match despite returning from suspension, reportedly questioned Edward’s tactics and squad selection -- mainly his persistence to play his sons, Ryan and Cameron, over other players.

Edwards admitted after the game there had been a breakdown in relations between himself and Burns but believed that was where the tension ended.

Both coach and captain were summoned to crisis talks with Glory CEO Jason Brewer, where it was reported that Burns apologised for his outburst and both parties were ready to move on from the incident.

However, Glory are now searching for an interim coach after Edwards demanded Burns have his contract ripped up or be stripped of the captaincy.

"I'm in a state of shock," Sage told the World Game website. "I had got Jacob to apologise for his outburst at the coach, against his better judgement, and I thought we had a resolution and could move on.

"And, frankly, I couldn't believe it when I then received a message and then a letter from Alistair demanding that Jacob have his contract cancelled, or if not that, have the armband taken off him. Those were his terms.

"The board was not willing to accept that demand. We are not in the business of switching captains mid-season, especially when the two names put forward by Alistair to replace Jacob would not have taken the job because they support Jacob's position at the club.

"We were left with no option as a result of the coach's demands but to terminate his contract and we hope to have an interim coach in place for Sunday's game against Adelaide United. We don't feel his stance left us with any other viable alternative.

"It's a real shame it has come to this because I was confident that the dispute had been settled after a series of meetings with the players and the coach. But Alistair was not willing to compromise when it was him who sanctioned Jacob as captain in the first place when he was appointed as our coach."

Edwards was only 10 games into a two-year contract after taking over as an interim coach for the sacked Ian Ferguson in February this year.

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