19 Feb 2016

Phoenix offered 10-year licence extension

12:47 pm on 19 February 2016

The Wellington Phoenix football club has been given a 10-year licence extension in the A-League.

A Phoenix fan yells support during a match at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The club has been seeking a deal since Australian football's ruling body declined the club's request for a 10-year licence extension in October.

Wellington Phoenix has now secured an immediate four-year extension of its licence through to the end of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League.

There will be two further three-year extensions through to 2022/23 and then 2025/26, but these depend on a number of factors, with a focus on broadcast rights from New Zealand.

The authorisation of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the Asian Football Federation (AFC), Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and New Zealand Football (NZF) was needed for the immediate extension.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the licence was "just reward for passionate campaigning by the football community on both sides of the Tasman".

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester said the importance of the Phoenix to the New Zealand game could not be overestimated.

"It's important to acknowledge the Phoenix fans who have made their voice heard clearly - the Phoenix belong in Wellington."

FFA Chairman Steven Lowy said the organisation was pleased the Phoenix had been able to respond so positively to the concerns raised late last year.

"Garnering greater nation-wide support was seen as critical, as were the benchmarks on crowds and payments to the A-League," he said.

"The Welnix Group has always had the good of the game at the forefront of its ambition and that is recognised in this renewed commitment to the A-League."

Wellington Phoenix Chairman Rob Morrison said the outcome provided a great platform for the club to build into the future.

"The deal gives the Club the tenure which will enable greater investment and confidence from key partners and of course gives heart to the fans that have been waiting patiently for this," Morrison said.

"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."

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