PERTH Glory has moved to clarify the details surrounding the departure of star homegrown striker Adam Taggart to Brisbane Road after some heated of back-and-forth between figures at the club and player.
Glory claimed to be “blindsided” by yesterday’s announcement that Taggart had signed for rival A-League club Brisbane after two years at Perth Oval where he scored 20 goals in 38 appearances in his second stint at the club.
In a strongly-worded statement issued yesterday morning the club did not hide its disappointment at losing Taggart.
“Glory played a key role in Adam’s return to Australia, but despite a very strong offer from us to retain his services which would have made him our highest-paid player, he opted to leave in a manner which showed no gratitude for the way he had been treated by the club,” it said.
“It is also very disappointing that we were only made aware of his decision via an announcement from another club.”
Owner Tony Sage went further, calling the 24-year-old striker “a liar” in a social media post, and claiming Taggart had told the club he wouldn’t make a decision on his future until a replacement had been found for recently sacked head coach Kenny Lowe.
The Glory released a statement this afternoon reiterating its belief the Soceroos striker “would not be making a decision (on his future) until the announcement of a new head coach was made”.
“We have been in dialogue with Adam and his management over the last few months about his future at the club. These negotiations fluctuated throughout the season as we were dealing with the injuries that Adam was contending with,” the club said.
“Over the last couple of weeks, when contract negotiations intensified, Adam and his management advised us that he would not be making a decision until the announcement of a new head coach was made as this was a key consideration for him. On this basis, we parked our contract discussions until we were in a position to announce a new head coach.
“On Monday evening, club management was informed of Adam’s decision to join Brisbane Roar over the phone by Adam’s management as they were walking into the Dolan Warren Awards.This was contrary to our understanding from Adam and his management that he would not be making a decision until the announcement of our head coach.”
Taggart issued his own statement through Professional Footballers Australia, the union that represents the country’s elite professional soccer players, moving to hose down the situation and claiming the club was well aware of his decision, as well as thanking the club’s fans, staff, players and Sage.
He also said comments attributed to him in other media reports were not his.
“I have spoken privately to all club staff to thank them and have also spoken with Tony Sage to thank him for his contribution to Perth Glory,” he said.
“The fans have always been fantastic and I will always have the utmost respect for them. I can’t thank them enough for the past two years. There have been some great memories and moments I will never forget. In this regard, it was disappointing to read quotes attributed to me… that were not mine.
“On Monday afternoon, club management was informed of my decision to join Brisbane Roar, which will give me a chance to work under John Aloisi. John is a fantastic coach who has a great record of developing young strikers.
“I feel as though I need a new challenge in a fresh environment and Brisbane can provide that.”
The Glory said it was “unfortunate Brisbane Roar compounded the matter by failing to consult directly” with them and went ahead with announcing the signing before it had “been given an opportunity to deal with the matter internally”.
“We understand and respect Adam and his management’s decision to sign with Brisbane Roar, however, we are disappointed with how this matter has evolved and were most surprised at the timing of the announcement and the manner with which it was made,” it said.