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Phoenix to launch new governance model as star player heads overseas

Radio Sport, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 2 July 2019, 11:29AM
Sarpeet Singh has signed with Bayern Munich. (Photo / Photosport)

Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome hopes the rumours of the club's demise can now be put to bed.

Agreement has been reached for the A-League to be spun off from Football Federation Australia into a new commission co-owned by all the clubs.

The Phoenix have endured an uncomfortable relationship with the FFA in recent year, forced to meet metrics to survive.

Dome says that the move takes all the conjecture off the table that has been around for a while. He says that the financial pressures had not affected players but it had bothered fans. 

"The chatter you get in the media does unsettle the fans, but in terms of day to day business it hasn't been too bad." 

He says that there has been no conflict with other A-League clubs about the move. 

The change comes as Sarpreet Singh announced yesterday he was signing with Bayern Munich. 

The 20-year-old midfielder has completed the transfer from the Wellington Phoenix and will join the world's fourth largest football club immediately in arguably the largest transfer of a New Zealand football player.

Singh has signed for Bayern's youth side Bayern Munich II on a three year deal and will play in the third division of German football next season, with a view of him being a member of their first team should performances go well.

The Bayern scouts were made aware of Singh after his standout performances for New Zealand at the under 20 World Cup in Poland.

"The scouts found me at the World Cup, and then watched some of my Phoenix games in my last couple of seasons in Wellington," Singh said.

"They flew my family and I over to Germany to look at the facilities and see if I liked them and if this could be my new home for the next three years, at least."

Singh said he was humbled that a club the size of Bayern was interested in him and has been impressed with the facilities at the campus that he'll be staying at for the next few months, where he hopes to pick up some German classes.

"They presented the plan for me when I got here. They see me developing here and if I do well there's always an opportunity to train with the first team. The second team trains at the same time right next to the first team, so if they need players they can easily pull some in.

"I'm here now for good, I've completed my medicals and testing. I'll stay in Munich until the break, where perhaps there will be some time to come home."

Dome says that the transfer of Singh to Bayern Munich was testament to the significant investment the club had made into the Academy and youth programmes.

"We are thrilled for Sarpreet and his family and are extremely proud of what he has achieved to get to this stage of his career.

"We wish him all the best in Germany and look forward to seeing him progress all the way through to Bayern's first team as he continues his development as a professional footballer."

He says that it is a huge good news story for the club, but the move won't affect the future of the club.

"Before very long, we'll have our squad for 2021."

Singh, a Wellington Phoenix Academy graduate who had a stand out season for the club in the A-League 2018-19 season has played 38 games for the Phoenix' first team, scoring nine goals across two seasons.

He joined the club's Academy in 2015 after coming through the Phoenix's Auckland based feeder club, Onehunga Sports where he joined at eight years old before moving to Wellington Phoenix at the age of 16.



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