Martin Devlin: Wellington Phoenix needs to answer fan and staff concerns

Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 27 February 2019, 12:57PM

Pause and listen for a second. Hear that? Yes, that sound of silence.

That is the only official audible response so far from the Phoenix owners to coach Mark Rudan following his open & challenging post-match press comments last Sunday.

Rudan, frustrated by the ongoing lack of any clear future direction for the club, went public with what sounded like an ultimatum for action.

The very least you’d think he, and the especially loyal fan base & sponsors who support the franchise, deserve is a response.

But no.

The continued refusal of club owners to reassure their fans is just another example of the arrogant attitude forthcoming from Welnix since they first acquired the franchise.

And it’s not just coach Rudan asking questions.

Where is the statement from the owners committing to the club and it’s future beyond the expiry of next year’s A-League license? What exactly is their vision and LTP (long term plan) for the club? What guarantee can they give fans, sponsors and loyal financial supporters?

Where is the leadership at right now and why won’t they front? Who is/are the football brainstrust currently acutely examining the playing side and future of those players the club is keen to commit to?

Why can’t senior management muzzle their coach in public? Why won’t he be muzzled, why is he so confident about and happy to publicly challenge his employers?

How many people in any walk of life publicly criticise their paymasters then happily continue on in those same jobs? Or want to?

Now, if calculating how many who do this in football ever remain, would it be a much smaller percentage? How much does it actually cost to run this club and how much does Welnix have to subsidise to stay afloat?

Why the absence of any real transparency around this? Has anyone ever thought of canvassing fans about a possible share float and maybe some sort of collective ownership?

Why can’t the club have a better more workable relationship with NZF? How will this happen? Or does the current ownership not want this to happen?

Because why then is it not happening? Is it simply s clash of personalities? “For the good of the game” cannot a compromise be reached, even if it has already been rejected many times previously?

And if it isn’t about “for the good of the game” then why did the owners even acquire the ‘Nix in the first place?

For Phoenix, fans these are just some of their questions. The most relevant one of course being simply, why don’t or won’t Welnix front up and answer them?

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