Perth Glory owner Tony Sage says a new investor is "essential" to carry some of the cost of running the West Australian side as mounting losses take their toll.
Sage estimates he's lost around $27.5 million since taking sole control of Glory, and the losses are continuing at the rate of around $2m a year, he says.
But the money woes have not blunted Sage's ambition, signing up Tony Popovic as coach for this season, reportedly on the largest coach's salary in the A-League, and snaring ex-Melbourne City striker Bruno Fornaroli as a marquee for next season.
Now though, he admits he has to find new investors to take a minority holding in the club and ease the pressure on his wallet - and take the Premiership favourites to even greater heights.
“It has become very expensive,” Sage told The West Australian. “You have to look at the owners of the other clubs who have huge backers. I’m doing it all by myself.
“It is sometimes a struggle to keep it all going, but I don’t want to relinquish control of the club, let’s get that clear, and this year proves that a single Australian owner can do well.
“Bringing in an investor will help pay the bills and give you that courage to go forward and sign people like Bruno Fornaroli.
“I signed him on my own but bringing in an investor — a minority investor, let’s make that clear — is an essential part of going forward.”
Sage admits he's been approached by outsiders wanting to buy their way in, but he said he turned them down because their motives weren't always football-based.
And he insisted there was no rush for him to find new partners yet.
“The club is in a good place and I’ve had a couple of offers but they have got the wrong reasons for wanting to be involved,” Sage told The West.
“The ones that have made me unsolicited offers just want to help themselves improve their business. That’s not want you want. You want someone with the right reasons.
“You want someone who is passionate about football, so in the bad times they stick with you. You don’t want a transaction to promote a product or name. I won’t go for someone like that.
“But I’m not in any hurry. I’ve spoken about this for seven months now. I’ll keep going as best I can until the right partner comes along.”