Wellington has been given an immediate four-year extension through to the completion of the 2019/20 season, with two further three-year blocks to be added on dependent on the PHoenix meeting a set of criteria.
The caveats for extensions revolve predominantly around broadcast rights in New Zealand, as well as other performance indicators such as crowd numbers.
The nature of Wellington’s participation in the A-League means the complex agreement is reliant on FIFA, the AFC, OFC and NZF signing off on the deal ahead of next season and before the further three-year extensions.
“The agreement with the Welnix Group for an extension of the Wellington Phoenix licence offers long-term security for the club as well as a critical lift in value for the Hyundai A League,” FFA CEO David Gallop said.
“The Welnix Group has been a stable supporter of the club in Wellington but now we join each other in a new phase to grow Wellington Phoenix and work together to ensure the long-term security works hand-in-hand with increases in key performance indicators (average crowds) and revenue streams (including TV rights fees) for the club and the league as a whole.
“We expect to see a renewed push to garner interest across all of New Zealand but acknowledge the support Wellington Phoenix has received from its fans, Wellington City Council, corporate partners and relevant stakeholders has been very important and it is a continuation of this support that is central to the long-term success of the club.
“It is important to note that due to the unique situation of Wellington playing in a national competition outside their country and confederation, the licence extensions will require the authorisation of FIFA, AFC, OFC and New Zealand Football.”
Wellington Phoenix chairman Rob Morris acknowledged that while the deal was a start, the onus was now on his club to proved further extensions should be granted.
“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
“While we acknowledge that for fans the process has been frustrating it was important to find middle ground and do a deal that was a right for both parties.
“The deal enables the WPFC to continue our plans to expand the Wellington Phoenix Academy program along with the establishment of a High Performance Unit and to invest in the on field performance of the team.”