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Mar 14, 2007

Kiwi franchise make FFA submission

The Wellington consortium seeking to keep a New Zealand team in the A-League have submitted the required financial documentation - albeit waiting until the very last minute to do so.

The document, which arrived at Football Federation Australia Sydney headquarters late on Wednesday, is currently being reviewed by league officials.

They have not set a deadline for when the future of the club will be made public, although a decision is widely expected to come in the next week, and possibly as soon as Thursday.

The FFA originally demanded the consortium produce a feasible operating plan by last Friday, but were given an extension until Wednesday despite failing to produce the requested documents.

In order to secure the position provisionally granted to NZ Soccer, who are planning to sub-let the license, the consortium had been originally asked to raise at least $2 million, although that figure is believed to have been reduced to $1.1 million.

However, while FFA Media & Communications Manager Adam Mark confirmed the submission had been received, he said it was no guarantee of acceptance.

"We've just got it in today and we're just in the process of reviewing it," Mark said.

"But there's no announcement today, and we haven't got a timeframe for when we'll be giving an answer."

The news of a submission will come as a disappointment to prospective teams in Townsville and Wollongong, who are still waiting in the wings should a vacancy for an eighth team arise.

So advanced is Tropical Football's Townsville bid, they've already appointed a coach - ironically New Zealand legend Wynton Rufer.

Earlier on Wednesday, NZS chief executive Graham Seatter said he believed his organisation was in a position to sign a participation agreement with the FFA.

"However we realise this is a two-horse race now and that the licence is not ours exclusively," Seatter said.

"After a lot of hard work we believe we have made a strong submission and now it is up to the FFA to make a call tomorrow."

While the Wellington bid has been hampered by a lack of start-up capital, Dow confirmed on Tuesday negotiations with potential investors were well underway to have the $1.1 million "in the bank" by Wednesday.

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