FFA and Wellington Phoenix agree 10-year licence

Wellington Phoenix will play in the A-League for at least another four seasons after Football Federation Australia announced an incentivised 10 year extension of the club's licence.

Save the Nix

Source: Getty Images

The Phoenix's A-League future had been in doubt since their request for a 10-year licence was declined by FFA last October.

FFA only offered Wellington the option of a four-year deal after previously extending the licences of all nine Australia-based clubs until 2034.

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However, FFA announced that Wellington's licence will be immediately extended until "the end of the 2019-2020 season, with two further three-year extensions through to 2022-2023 and then 2025-2026, dependent on a number of factors, especially improved broadcast rights from New Zealand."

Those factors include approval from FIFA, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and New Zealand Football (NZF). 

FFA also said that the three-year extensions are dependent on "the Phoenix reaching benchmarks on attendances and greater financial contributions to the A-League."

But FFA CEO David Gallop refused to divulge exactly what those benchmarks were in terms of numbers.

"We put in some benchmarks, some hurdles if you like, that will see the Phoenix grow and add value to the A-League," Gallop said.

"It's taken months of negotiations but I think it's a win-win for both sides."

Wellington Phoenix chairman Rob Morrison is confident they would meet their targets.

“There is still plenty of work to be done to secure the extensions contained in the 10 year deal, particularly building crowd and viewership numbers but if we didn't believe it was possible to grow the club we would not have wanted the extension deal," Morrison said. 

“While we acknowledge that for fans the process has been frustrating it was important to find middle ground and do a deal that was a right for both parties. 

“The deal enables the WPFC to continue our plans to expand the Wellington Phoenix Academy program along with the establishment of a High Performance Unit and to invest in the on field performance of the team.”

That on-field investment includes the signing of Melbourne Victory's Kosta Barbarouses in a deal believed to be worth $750,000 a year.



When it was announced that the Phoenix might not have their licence renewed, fans created a 'Save the Nix' campaign, which was supported by other fans across the A-League and as far afield as Germany.

“On behalf of the club I would like to acknowledge the support of the other A-League clubs and their fans who came out in the support of the Phoenix during the Save the Nix campaign. The Save the Nix campaign was an important part of the process and we are very grateful for all the support we received,” Morrison said.


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3 min read
Published 19 February 2016 at 11:01am
By Nick Stoll
Source: FFA