NZ team 'must produce A-League cash'
A Wellington consortium has until Wednesday to come up with $2 million or New Zealand's team in the A-League will be replaced by a new Australian outfit, most likely from Townsville.
That's the message from Football Federation Australia, with the A-League's governing body clearly fed up waiting for New Zealand Soccer to prove the proposed replacement for the defunct New Zealand Knights is financially viable.
According to FFA's outgoing head of operations Matt Carroll, NZS were given an original deadline of last Friday to make their final financial submission, but it failed to arrive.
Speaking to journalists in Sydney, Carroll said Wednesday marks the latest possible deadline for NZS to keep their A-League licence.
NZS is proposing to make Wellington the sub-licensee.
"We've upped the ante with New Zealand on Monday, they've been very slow in coming forward with the financials to show us how they can actually fund the club," Carroll said.
"As much as Wellington is a great city and they've got a great coach and infrastructure, without the necessary funding it would be very difficult to run an A-League club."
"We asked them to provide better particulars last Friday, they never arrived, so we've gone back to two local consortiums and entered into discussions with them."
Carroll said of the two Australian teams bidding to replace the Knights, Townsville and Wollongong, the North Queensland bid was looking the strongest.
"Townsville is probably the most prepared at this stage," Carroll said.
"I think New Zealand still has the running on a number of fronts, but the most important thing is funding."
"You can't do anything in professional football without dollars."
Carroll said he rated the chances of NZS coming up with the money as "50-50".