10 Nov 2015

Phoenix future still in the balance

5:46 am on 10 November 2015

The Wellington Phoenix's A-League future remained in the balance after talks with Football Federation Australia powerbrokers applied further pressure on New Zealand Football to come to the table.

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Will the Wellington Phoenix flags keep flying? Photo: Photosport

Phoenix chairman Rob Morrison met outgoing FFA chairman Frank Lowy and chief executive David Gallop in Sydney to discuss the club's future, which was thrown into uncertainty last month when their application for a 10-year licence extension was denied.

Breaking his silence on the matter on Sunday, Morrison had publicly called for tangible support from New Zealand Football (NZF) , amid a somewhat strained relationship with the Phoenix, to keep the club alive.

Morrison said the penny had not dropped at NZF as to how important the Phoenix, Oceania's only professional club, is to the sport and to the city of Wellington.

It appears that relationship was one of the hot topics yesterday, after Gallop highlighted a "lack of support" from other New Zealand stakeholders.

"Rob underlined the Phoenix's financial stability, a matter which is not in dispute," Gallop said in a statement.

"We agreed on a number of issues but, in particular, that the lack of support from other New Zealand stakeholders is a key issue.

"There are ongoing discussions with NZ broadcasters, which the Phoenix have agreed to continue, while the need to expand interest in and the identity of the club across all of New Zealand - not just Wellington - was also raised.

"FFA expect the club to come back with firm proposals in the near future."

The Phoenix play at home on Friday night for the first time since the start of the club's licence drama.

They host Adelaide United at Westpac Stadium and are hopeful of attracting up to 15,000 spectators to the game to send a message to FFA about the club's importance.

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