10 Nov 2015

Phoenix adamant Australian football wants them

3:31 pm on 10 November 2015

Despite impressions to the contrary Australian football does want the Wellington Phoenix in the A-League competition says club owner Rob Morrison.

The future of the club is in doubt after Football Federation Australia offered it a four year competition licence extension as opposed to the ten year one it was after.

The FFA had expressed concern over the low crowd attendences, broadcasting revenues and a lack of support from club stakeholders.

That's left the impression the FFA wants to cut the Phoenix adrift but after meeting with FFA officials on Monday, Morrison is confident that's not the case.

Rob Morrison says he wouldn't do it all again with the Phoenix.

Welnix chairman Rob Morrison. Photo: Photosport

"No I don't think that's the case...they recognise that we are one of the better governed clubs in the competition and we are certainly one of the more financially stable clubs in the competition and if the long term aim is to expand is to expand the A-League, which it is, then you need to do that off the back of stable foundations and they recognise we are a valuable part of that," said Morrison.

Morrison said there was discussion around low crowd numbers and broadcast revenues but he believes those

figures relate more to a club's financial stability rather than the future of the competition and feels it should be left to clubs to deal with rather than the FFA.

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Will the Wellington Phoenix flags keep flying? Photo: Photosport

"Every club wants more members, every club wants more people turning up to see the games but its unrealistic to set targets for clubs. Each club needs to do it in its own way."

The FFA has also expressed concern over the relationship between the club and New Zealand Football.

"If you look at it from the FFA's point of view they see it and go, 'okay this is enourmously beneficial to New Zealand Football. You have a team playing in our competition, you're playing across conferences (Asia and Oceania) ..so that's not a freebie'," said Morrison.

"We haven't, in football, quite worked out how the professional structure fits within the game in New Zealand. There's still too much of 'them and us' as opposed to 'we are all beneficiaries' so I think that needs to change. There's definitely been progress in that area but there's still a lot of work to be done," he said.

Morrison is optimistic the licence situation will be resolved by the end of the month.

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