Wellington Phoenix informed various representatives from New Zealand Sport, including Steve Tew, Chief Executive Officer for New Zealand Rugby, that they faced collapse unless they received financial assistance.
So the A-League Football Club received the second bail-out they’ve required in the last 10 years. The first rescue mission was accomplished by a wunch of wealthy bankers in 2011 and the second saw the team securing NZ$950 000 of taxpayer money to keep it afloat.
This is part of the NZ$4.6 million spend by NZ Sport, the first releases of capital from the Sport Recovery Package worth NZ$265 million announced in May as part of Budget 2020.
The National Rugby League’s New Zealand Warriors got NZ$200 000, Netball New Zealand NZ$2.2 million so its ANZ Premiership could be relaunched, and NZR NZ$1.25 million to help with Super Rugby Aotearoa.
David Dome, General Manager for The Phoenix, released a statement saying that without this kind of support for professional Football, the sport could be lost indefinitely. Chief Executive Officer for Sport NZ Peter Miskimmin reported that The Phoenix painted a very grim picture in April. This was when Tew met with the club after being contracted to assess how much money each sport would be getting.
Miskimmin said that the risk to Kiwis and The Phoenix was that if they did end up bowing out, they would have to forfeit their A-League license. This would then serve as a pretty serious barrier to any of our teams getting back into the country’s primary competitions for this sport.
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