25 Nov 2013

Morgan calls for shake-up of NZ Football

6:22 pm on 25 November 2013

Calls are being made for a complete overhaul of the top-level administration of football in New Zealand.

Wellington Phoenix team co-owner Gareth Morgan says that given the number of players in this country, the national teams and the Wellington Phoenix should be better than they are.

Dr Gareth Morgan.

Dr Gareth Morgan. Photo: Morgan Foundation

Last week the All Whites were well beaten by Mexico - 9-3 on aggregate - in their World Cup play off games, while the Wellington Phoenix are second bottom in the A-League.

Dr Morgan is offering to stump up $5 million if the Government puts in ten million to help restructure New Zealand Football and give it a more professional focus.

He says the administration is chaotic and amateur and the sport needs to change.

A former All Whites captain, Danny Hay, says the governance of football is mediocre and dysfunctional.

But New Zealand Football says it runs a complex operation catering for all age groups and while people are free to criticise it, it's working hard to improve the game in this country.

New Zealand Football interim chief executive Mark Aspden says football in this country is in pretty good shape and says an independent review of the All Whites' failed world cup bid should be ready by early next year.

He cites the success of the Football Ferns women's team recently beating Brazil and China as one step forward.

Separately, New Zealand Football expects to record a $6 million surplus for 2013, thanks largely to the commercial benefits of the All Whites world cup qualifiers against Mexico.

In addition to the sell-out crowd of over 35,000 people for the home leg of the tie at Wellington's Westpac Stadium last week, New Zealand Football negotiated a significant television rights deal for the playoff with international broadcaster Univision.

The deal meant the tie was broadcast in more than 130 countries around the world.

Mr Aspden says the large surplus will be used to develop the sport at all levels.