5 May 2020

Phoenix want answers ahead of A-League restart

4:56 pm on 5 May 2020

The Wellington Phoenix still have some questions about the financial impacts of restarting the A-League that the club wants answers to sooner rather than later.

Phoenix general manager David Dome.

David Dome Photo: Photosport

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has committed to completing the A-League season with training potentially starting in July and the season resuming in August.

In order to complete the season the third-placed Wellington Phoenix would need to be based out of Australia, in a similar situation to the New Zealand Warriors in the NRL.

However Wellington Phoenix general manger David Dome said the club still had questions about how much of a financial boost the club would get to complete the season out of a centralised location in Australia.

The A-League broadcaster, Foxtel, initially delayed a scheduled payment of nearly $12 million to FFA but now that the money has been paid, Dome wanted to know what that meant for the clubs.

"The finances haven't been resolved, there is still at lot of work to done there, and the resumption of the league is wholly predicated on a couple of things, one is obviously the health and safety of the staff and players that go over there but there is the financial side of it as well." Dome said

"If we were going to hub with the A-League it is going to be a very expensive exercise and then the flow on from that is how much is left to pay the club which will have to cover players and staff and all our running costs while essentially there is very little income coming through.

"It was always tough even when we had a normalised season for clubs to be commercially viable and now with the pressure going on a number of organisations and businesses, including the ones we currently deal with, it is difficult to raise the commercial dollars to fund professional sport and this has made it even more difficult."

There is no confirmed exact date for the return of the A-League competition but Dome said including a training period, finishing the remaining round robin games and the finals series, the season could be completed within an eight week timeframe.

A number of A-League clubs have players coming off contract on May 31, including eight Phoenix players.

Dome was confident the club can keep hold of those players coming off contract, especially the New Zealand-based ones, but he said before contract talks could really start he needed to know how much money the club would get to finish off the competition.

"Once the financial situation has some clarity to it we can go back to the players and give them an indication of what the finances around resuming is going to look like for them as players."

Dome said the Phoenix were in a better position than some clubs in terms of contracted players, but he said all clubs would need to be at full strength to get through to the end.

"If we are going to resume the season and go into the finals series you will have to have a full compliment of players to select from because the league is going to be shortened into a much smaller timeframe you're going to need a full squad of players to get through playing three games in a seven or eight day window."