Yellow Fever urge Phoenix fans to show opposition to grand finals plan

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The unofficial Wellington Phoenix supporter group Yellow Fever are urging fans to show their opposition to the controversial deal that ensures men’s and women’s A-League grand finals will be staged in Sydney for the next three years.

The group has emailed its members, asking them to support a protest at Saturday’s men’s and women’s double header against Adelaide United at Wellington’s Sky Stadium.

The protest involves fans leaving the Fever Zone at the 20th minute of the men’s game to join visiting Adelaide supporters in aisles 13/14.

“We plan to remain there for the following women’s game. This will leave the usual home and away bays devoid of the fans the APL (Australian Professional League) are looking to exclude with its decision,” the message to Yellow Fever supporters says.

The planned protest follows consulting with the Adelaide supporters and is intended to show that Yellow Fever “stand united with fan groups and players across the league in offering the strongest possible criticism of the decision announced this week to sell the pinnacle event of the season to Sydney.”

The pushback from fans and some players and clubs follows the announced deal between APL and the New South Wales government to stage grand finals in Sydney for the next three years, in return for a payment estimated to exceed $20 million.

Opposition mounts against APL decision

Since the announcement:

  • The Australian Professional Footballers’ Association say they oppose the move. “The players are not in support of the decision or the process which led to it.”
  • Melbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro has resigned from the APL board, distancing himself from the decision.
  • Media reports suggest clubs opposed to the decision include Adelaide United, Western United, Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory.
  • The Wellington Phoenix say they were not involved in the decision and their preference is that grand finals are played in the city of the highest-ranked qualifier, as has been the case.

READ MORE: Phoenix explain club’s stance on three-year deal to host grand finals in Sydney >>>>

Phoenix defender Scott Wootton: ‘Obviously not ideal’

Phoenix defender Scott Wootton told a midweek media conference he did not agree with the APL decision.

“It’s obviously not ideal

“If we were to get that to that point, you would want it in Wellington.

“You’re not going to get 30 or 40,000 people from Wellington travelling to Sydney to be our home support. It’s a big cost for fans — hotels, travel, flights.

“I’m not sure why they’ve come to that decision, but it’s one that I wouldn’t agree with, to be honest.”

A-League legend: ‘Don’t walk out of stadiums’

Former Sydney City star Alex Brosque wants fans to find alternatives to leaving stadiums to protest at this weekend’s A-League fixtures.

Acknowledging the fans’ disappointment about the APL decision, he said he hoped fans would find other ways to make their point.

“Exiting games and not showing up to games, that’s the worst thing that can happen for our code, I don’t like seeing that, I hope they do show up,” Brosque told SENZ.

“I hope they maybe they hold up banners and show other ways of protesting, but don’t leave or not support the players because they need this.”


Games to be played on Saturday December 17, 2022

Isuzu Men’s A-League

Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 3pm (NZT)

Liberty Women’s A-League

Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 5.35pm (NZT)

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