28 Sep 2010

Phoenix club settles ACC bill

7:01 pm on 28 September 2010

The Wellington Phoenix football club has settled a large bill for unpaid levies owed to the Accident Compensation Corporation.

ACC had filed court papers to put the club's parent company, Century City Football, into liquidation because it was $260,000 in arrears.

At a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, team accountant Brett Whyte said the club missed an agreed repayment at the end of last month and that had provoked the legal action.

Mr Whyte says ACC's moves forced the club to settle the bill in full.

ACC's acting chief executive, Dr Keith McLea, says it is unfortunate it took the threat of legal action to secure the money.

Dr McLea says it's odd the situation could shock the club's owner, Terry Serepisos, who, he says, has known about the arrears for some time. Some of the money owed dated back several years, Dr McLea says.

While ACC appreciated the impact repayment could have on the club, he said earlier, it was unfair to let other businesses keep subsidising Century City Football, so the debt could not be written off.

Phoenix spokesman John Mitchell says the cost of insuring players has risen to $200,000 a year, because the team is having to pay both insurance in Australia and ACC costs here.

Coach Ricki Herbert says the playing staff weren't aware of the situation. They will continue to support Mr Serepisos, he says.