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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 7, 2007

Knights optimistic after A-League wins

New Zealand Soccer is hoping the Knights' dashing A-league form of late will help find the club new quality investors.

The Knights are still celebrating their shock 1-0 upset of reigning champion Sydney FC at the weekend, following last week's 3-1 win over Queensland Roar.

The wins are especially timely with the club's future in doubt after the FFA stripped the Knights' owners of their licence and handed interim control over to NZS and All Whites coach Ricki Herbert.

NZS chief executive Graham Seatter said he hoped a decision would be made on new owners this week and the good results were "without a doubt" making it easier to find quality investors.

NZS said they had set a target of at least half the Knights soccer squad for next season being New Zealanders.

Although there are just four New Zealanders on the Knights' current roster, Seatter believed more could be brought in from Europe, the United States, the New Zealand Football Championship and the A-League, to bolster the New Zealand head count.

"I think that it's highly likely that at least half the players, in a squad of 23, will be New Zealanders."

He believed the New Zealanders being targeted would strengthen the side.

The Knights had won just two other games all season before their upset wins.

Seatter said while the FFA had the final sign-off, he remained keen for the licence to remain with a New Zealand side.

He reiterated the preference to use championship leaders Melbourne Victory's model of a large number of owners.

"It gets broad-based support and also by having a number of owners I think you're forcing the organisation to have a high level of transparency and high quality in terms of governance and management.

"When you have one or two owners then it can just be at the whim of those people."

NZS believes $2m worth of investment will give certainty for next season, allowing players to be signed and the licence granted.

"That's just to get moving in the next couple of weeks," he said.

"I think ultimately you want a capital base of $5 or $6 million to give you certainty for the next three years," he said.