Speculation over Wellington Phoenix's future 'not appropriate' - chairman
Wellington Phoenix chairman Rob Morrison has said recent media reports that the club's A-League licence is up for sale are off the mark.
Although he did not flatly refute the speculation which claims the failing Phoenix have held discussions with at least two of the expansion candidates -- Southern Expansion (based in Sydney's south and South Coast regions) and a South West Sydney bid.
Wellington's licence with Football Federation Australia expires at the end of the 2019-20 season.
"It is not appropriate for any further speculation and we will not be making any decision on the future of this club until the future of the A-League is clearer which may not be for some time," Morrison said in a statement released by the club on Tuesday.
"Ultimately we remain focused on our two key metrics -- attendance at home games and viewership on Sky."
Reports claim the Welnix ownership group of the Phoenix have not ruled out a complete sale or a merger scenario.
"As has been well reported in recent times, the A-League is in transition including a significant investigation by FIFA into the best governance model for the FFA and the impacts this will have on A-League and its independence," Morrison said.
"The FFA has a stated desire to expand the A-League. This has instigated a storm of speculation around licences.
"There are a number of parties interested and these parties have been talking to a number of clubs around A-League expansion and licences. Wellington has not been immune to this and it's only appropriate that as a club we keep abreast of all possible options going around the clubs."
He noted the owners had invested a lot of money into the club's Academy, "which is A-League leading and is producing some significant player talent, an investment largely unsupported by the national body."
Earlier this month, New Zealand captain Michael Boxall called out former Sydney FC manager John Kosmina and other pundits for having "agendas for just wanting Australian teams" in the A-League.
Wellington finished second-bottom in the 10-team competition and have made the finals just once in the past six seasons.