Football 3 years ago

Five NSW A-League teams too many: Arnold

  • Five NSW A-League teams too many: Arnold

Wellington Phoenix are playing down reports they could be kicked out of the A-League next year in favour of a third Sydney team.

The club's licence is due to expire at the end of this season, and protracted negotiations between Football Federation Australia and Phoenix owners Welnix have yet to reach a settlement.

Fairfax Media reported on Thursday that meetings involving the FFA, Sutherland Shire Council, NRL club Cronulla and the Sutherland Shire Football Association had already been held aimed at establishing a new A-League club based in southern Sydney.

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It says the Phoenix are seen as offering little for Australian player development, broadcast revenue and A-League attendances.

However, Phoenix general manager David Dome says there's no reason to believe the club will be dropped from the 10-team league in favour of a third Sydney team.

"The FFA see the Phoenix as being one of the 10 teams in the A-League next year - they've always said that," Dome told NZ Newswire.

He said club chairman Rob Morrison is continuing discussions with the FFA, but there's no indication of how close a resolution might be.

"It's a fluid situation - Rob Morrison's working very hard on a proposal but there's no firm timeline."

Morrison, who is in London, was unavailable for comment.

The FFA last year extended the length of the licences of the nine Australia-based clubs until 2034.

A-League head Damien de Bohun has said there are no plans in the foreseeable future to expand the 10-team league, with the focus on sustainability and stability rather than expansion.

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