Wellington Phoenix midfielder Chloe Knott has provided more information about her surprise decision to leave the club.
In a post to her social media followers, vice-captain Knott (27) has spelled out the factors that led to her seeking to be released early from her professional contract with the women’s A-League club.
Here is her post in full:
“Hey, friends! I have resigned from the Wellington Phoenix because ultimately, it is no longer sustainable for me to continue, nor is it a place where I feel fulfilled.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to achieve my childhood dream of playing professional football.
“I feel lucky for the lessons and experiences I have had over the past 3 seasons, but mostly for the connections and friendships I’ll have for the rest of my life.
“Although the current financial situation is unsustainable for female footballers, it is not the only factor leading to my decision to leave the club.
“After being here for the start of this season, it’s become clear that my values no longer align with the club or current
management. It is important for me to be in an environment that prioritises honesty, authenticity, and a genuine care for every individual and their development on and off the field.
“I want to work in an environment where all employees feel valued and respected at all ages and in every phase of their career, where their commitment and sacrifice is understood and appreciated, without needing to ask for it first.
“It’s not good enough to wait for something drastic to happen before changes are made.
“I’m at a stage in my life where I have the luxury to choose the spaces that are most conducive to experiencing joy, personal fulfilment and growth.
“I am lucky to have had opportunities to develop my life away from football which gives me the freedom to return home mid-season and have a career to turn to.
“The decision to leave the team has been the toughest one I’ve ever had to make and is not something I have taken lightly. I know without a doubt that it is the right choice for me.
“I hope this creates conversation about the experience that professional footballers are having at their clubs. I hope that
this can be a catalyst for systemic cultural change within the club and particularly the women’s game.
“I am so grateful to walk alongside and follow in the footsteps of some amazing people who have moved our game forward, and I hope I can leave a few of my own new footsteps in the right direction.
“Thank you to my people, who have believed in me and supported me throughout this journey. I’m proud to have been a part of the first professional women’s team in New Zealand and I’m excited to see where football can get to in this country.
“For now, I’ll be the team’s biggest fan and will take pride in watching them continue to play beautiful football this season.
“I’m going to enjoy being home with my family in Auckland and focus on creating the lifestyle that I want.
“I’m looking forward to this next phase of my life and everything that comes with it.
“All with love, Chlo #7 :)”
Players’ union makes statement
The New Zealand Football Players Association has told Newshub:
“It is disappointing that in the same year New Zealand and Australia hosted a record-setting World Cup, which reportedly achieved over USD$570 million in revenue (over NZD$900 million), a female player has had to step away from professional football,.
“Until professional football is a financially sustainable full-time occupation, we run the risk of losing talented players like Chloe.
“NZPFA supports the Australian PFA in their work obtaining minimum contracts and working conditions through collective bargaining.”