Jason Pine: What the Phoenix owners should be doing

Author
Jason Pine ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 16 May 2018, 10:16AM
Speculation around the team's sale has been active over the last few weeks. (Photo / Getty)

Wellington Phoenix fans have every right to be wondering today what the hell is going on with their football club.

Media reports emerged late last week the club was in negotiations over some sort of absurd merger with a consortium from Southwest Sydney.

The Phoenix issued a statement in response to that, saying while they were talking to potential investors, they weren't interested in selling some or any of their A-League license.

But last night, the Sydney Morning Herald reported the club had indeed reached agreement to sell the license for $15 million and basically close the doors over this side of the ditch.

If the owners didn't want to sell, why have they even been discussing that notion with other parties, let alone actually reaching agreement?

If they're not flat-out lying to the fans, they're at the very least being economical with the truth.

The proposed sale looks likely to be blocked by Football Federation Australia anyway as they look to preserve the integrity of their own A-League expansion process, with two new teams to be added at the start of the 2019/20 season.

So the Phoenix are staying in Wellington for the meantime, but that won't really give too much comfort to Yellow Fever.

Because they now appear to have reluctant owners.

If these stories are true, Welnix want out of the club.

FFA has blocked their way, so they're stuck with a license they don't really want.

What motivation do the owners now have to invest any resource in the club over the next two seasons?

The Phoenix's existence beyond that point is dependent on reaching metrics around crowd numbers and TV viewership.

With a de-motivated ownership group, how is that going to happen?

Instead of looking for a way out, I would love to see the owners turn their focus inwards.

With the right people sharing the same philosophy, this club can be revived.

The Newcastle Jets didn't have a demonstrably better squad than the Phoenix this past season, but through Ernie Merrick's coaching, a galvanizing of the playing group and some quality imports they hosted the Grand Final after seven years of missing the top six altogether.

Why can't Wellington Phoenix do the same thing?

People might laugh and say it's never going to happen.

Why can't it happen?

It's not a quantum leap to reach a place where people can be proud of this football club again and start talking about it positively.

Forget about meeting with potential buyers.

Focus on the here and now.

Give your long-suffering fans a reason to be optimistic about what lies ahead.

Appoint a coach, get your recruitment sorted, get a pre-season going and turn this ship around.

LISTEN TO JASON PINE TALK ABOUT THE PHOENIX WITH RADIO SPORT BREAKFAST ABOVE

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