Football 3 years ago

Fans front for Phoenix future

  • Fans front for Phoenix future

Phoenix fans fronted up in their thousands for the Wellington club's first home game since their A-League future was thrown into doubt late last month.

After a week of chilly southerlies and rain, Wellington turned on a calm, sunny evening for their sixth-round clash against bottom-of-the-table Adelaide United.

Despite missing five of their squad, on international duty with the All Whites in Oman, the Phoenix obliged the 13,654-strong crowd with an entertaining 4-2 win at Westpac Stadium on Friday.

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Phoenix general manager David Dome had earlier targeted a gate of at least 10,000, saying if fans didn't turn up, it would call into question the club's A-League survival.

The Phoenix's future has been under a cloud since their request for a 10-year licence was declined by Football Federation Australia late last month.

The FFA have offered Wellington the option of a four-year extension until the end of the 2019/20 season after last year extending the licences of all nine Australia-based clubs until 2034.

FFA chairman Frank Lowy has said the Phoenix need to bring more money into the league, with broadcasting revenue a particular area of concern.

The club and fan group Yellow Fever responded by launching a Save the Nix campaign.

Dome said the club had received huge support from around the country and across the Tasman amidst a groundswell of local backing which has included a record membership of 4400.

Streets, statues, parks and buses have been adorned with yellow and black Phoenix scarves over the last week, and buildings draped with yellow scaffolding and Save the Nix signage.

Welnix chairman Rob Morrison met Lowy in Sydney earlier this week, and returned saying he's confident the Phoenix will get the extension they want, provided a suitable broadcasting deal can be reached.

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