The Wellington Phoenix have explained their club’s stance on the deal reached between the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) and Destination NSW to host the A-League grand finals in Sydney for the next three years.
The deal was announced this week and has prompted criticism from football fans, particularly those outside of New South Wales.
In a statement released on Tuesday (December 13), the Wellington Phoenix told their supporters:
“Ever since the Wellington Phoenix was founded in 2007, we, like all of you, have dreamed of hosting a grand final in Wellington. For the next three years it will not be possible.
“We as a club understand the commercial benefits for the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) for signing this deal with Destination NSW, even if this is contradictory to the interests of our fans.
“To be clear, the agreement was reached by the APL board, which includes representatives from A-League clubs. The Wellington Phoenix were not involved in the decision-making.
“We have always tried to represent our fans as best as we can. Without you, there is no match day, no passion and ultimately no club.
“Our preference is that both the men’s and women’s A-League grand finals are played in the city of the highest-ranked qualifier, as has been the case up until now.
“However, the Wellington Phoenix understands the financial pressures of professional sport and the A-League. In the short term, this funding model works for the league.
“Under this model, we will do our very best to make sure our fans who want to attend a grand final are given every opportunity to.”