What does the Wellington Phoenix bring to the A-League?

Posted on March 14, 2015 by Smithy

It's said that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Michael Lynch does his best to prove just that in a tired old piece of clickbait masquerading as serious journalism.

In it he asks, with a straight face it would seem, what the Phoenix bring to the A-League and why the FFA should continue to include them.

It's a question that's been asked before, of course. Not just about the Phoenix, but also the Kingz, the Knights and (in rugby league) the Warriors.

The answers are fairly straightforward. 

Crowds. The ever-echoing critcism of Wellington's crowds is ill-informed and misguided. The Phoenix box about their weight. And if not Wellington, then where? Take the 8,000 loyal Phoenix fans out of the mix, and where are you going to replace them from? Waggawagga? Gold Coast (that worked out well)? Darwin? Australia is hardly overflowing with major metropolitan areas with an appetite for football.

Owners. Compare the Welnix LLP group with Clive Palmer, or Nathan Tinkler, and just take stock of that contrast. Terry Serepisos (may his memory rest in peace) was a generous and enthusiastic owner, and his successors are steady and committed. The FFA can only dream of more ownership groups like Wellington's.

Credibility. Sure, the Nix have propped up the table the last two seasons. But apart from that we've done better than okay. We've weathered tough seasons both financially and in terms of crowds, something that other weaker (failed) franchises have been unable to do.

Potential. Apart from being successful as is where is, the Phoenix offer a foothold in the number three market for football in Australasia (Sydney, Melbourne, New Zealand). It's a tough nut to crack, but the evidence would suggest that the FFA want to keep nibbling away at it. For over 15 years the FFA and its predecessors have chipped away at New Zealand. Why would they give up now.

The truth is that (ironically) Lynch has fallen for exactly the sort of trolling he has authored. The FFA's vague threats to not renew the Phoenix's license are nothing more than a bit of baiting. A shakedown of Sky and New Zealand Football. Frank Lowy wants to hold the game in New Zealand by the ankles to see if any more money will fall out. 

He might get some joy. The Phoenix are certainly good for New Zealand Football (who want to hang part of their latest elite-player-pathway-nonsense around the Phoenix) and yet they contribute nothing to the pot. Sky keep losing not only content, but hearts and minds. Their bet-the-house-on-rugby strategy is finally starting to fail. They could well be convinced to part with more than the paltry current sum to keep A-League football on their air. 

But Lynch is barking up the wrong tree if he really thinks the Phoenix are at risk. The A-League does actually need the Phoenix just as much as the Phoenix need the league.

Guy Smith is an unqualified but outspoken football enthusiast. You can reach him at smithy@yellowfever.co.nz or @gsmithnz

Comments

Smithy
Moderator
Stage Punch
FilledFilledFilledFilledFilled
For post wewant7
Edited by Smithy March 14, 2015 17:50

Incredible stamina. No shame. Yellow Fever.

Yakcall
Moderator
‘Ko te hīkaka mō te Phoenix‘
FilledFilledFilledEmptyEmpty
For post elite

Great article, I think all these articles are coming out because they are worried about how the Nix are doing as well as the fact that the license is up in the air and no clear message has come from FFA. It's been proven each time they don't actually look into the numbers, (crouds, TV ratings) and just go with the same old argument.

You can see on Twitter, more and more people agree that the Nixs should be in the league, but you are always going to have the people who are just naturally against a NZ team in an Australian league and have been since day 1.

Player: "What bloody game are you watching ref?"

Ref: "The one where you've had three shots and haven't hit the target."

Hows my refereeing? Whine Here

bwtcf
Marquee
FilledFilledFilledFilledEmpty
For post picture 7083

Why does Lynch see it as a choice between The Nix OR a tenth Australian side?

Why can't you imagine a world in which the Nix exist AND a tenth (and even an 11th) Australian side exist.

The FFA want to expand the league.

So why would you want to get rid of a finiancially sound team, at the top of the table, with home crouds in excess of some existing Australian clubs, and that is without the benefit of their crouds being boosted by local derbies and intra-state away crouds like the NSW clubs enjoy? 

And why would you piss away a market of 4.5 million extra people in an either/or choice when it clearly isn't about either/or?

Incredible stamina. No shame. Yellow Fever.

Phoenix fans. We have to win them over one fan at a time.

Tegal
Moderator
Head Sleuth
FilledFilledFilledFilledFilled
For post 6a831056 9031 45d7 8d6d 949589ae360d

I have been a bit of a broken record on this lately but the whole thing about us not rating well on TV is also a myth. 

Fox viewership: 

CCM 57k

Jets 54k

Nix 52k (bearing in mind most nix fans arent with fox)

Percentage of subscribers who watch A league every weekend:

Fox 2.76%

Sky 2.08%

It's purely about trying to shake more money out of Sky/NZF/nix - as Smithy said in the above blog. 

Edited by Tegal March 14, 2015 19:29

Allegedly

Jeff Vader
Cock
FilledFilledFilledFilledFilled
For post capture1

It's an interesting blog.

Objectively when you look at people posting here, it seems a few get the main thrust that this is about squeezing more cash out of NZ. The masses outside of this site don't see it this way, or, should I say, talk about it in public in this way.

Is there cash there though? If NZF invest in this at the expense of other items, and I guess top of the list is the rubbish that masquerades as a national league some weeks, they are going to cop it in the you-know-what and I would expect the 248 crew to be here enmasse spouting about it. John Fellet... er Sky, has showing he is too fudgeing thick to do his job and has largely sat on his chuff banking rugby money that the paying public have forked over blindly (in part because the fan experience is a bit shark) so what gives us hope that Fellet is going to pay more for something where he knows he does not have to because of lack of competition. As Tegal types, 2%... Not a compelling number and he has shown he is not smart enough to keep up with what is going on now regarding new platform.

The kicker is if the Phoenix make the final or win it. It's going to be a poor look for the FFA if they punt the Phoenix because they can't get any more money out of NZ. It makes their bargaining position weaker so I guess in a lot of respects, if the Phoenix do well, they can't punt them so Sky know they don't need to pay. If the Phoenix are crap, no one watches so they don't need to pay. I can't see how the FFA get more money out of Sky.

Grumpy old bastard alert

Ryan54
First Team Squad
FilledFilledFilledEmptyEmpty
For post default

bwtcf wrote:

Why does Lynch see it as a choice between The Nix OR a tenth Australian side?

Why can't you imagine a world in which the Nix exist AND a tenth (and even an 11th) Australian side exist.

The FFA want to expand the league.

So why would you want to get rid of a finiancially sound team, at the top of the table, with home crouds in excess of some existing Australian clubs, and that is without the benefit of their crouds being boosted by local derbies and intra-state away crouds like the NSW clubs enjoy? 

And why would you piss away a market of 4.5 million extra people in an either/or choice when it clearly isn't about either/or?

This is the best argument.

You can talk about all the players we have brought to the league: Ifill, Bonevacia, Smeltz, Rojas and Barbarouses.

You can talk about opening up the New Zealand market. 

I think those things are true but I don't think they are why we should be in the league.

The Phoenix should be in the A-League because we are a financially stable club and we get big enough crouds to be competitive on the field. The people who want to get rid of us say that the NZ tv ratings are low. What they don't understand is that the Phoenix actually add to the Australian football rankings. If the Phoenix weren't there it would be a 9 team league, there would be one less game per week and broadcasters would pay less money for the competition. 

There just aren't that many places lining up to replace us. People talk about 2nd Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide teams but than again 2nd Melbourne can't even pull crouds. Then you are down to regional areas. The FFA should be aiming for a 12 team league. I can't see them finding 3 places in Australia who can sustain teams. 

The Phoenix add as much to the league as a team like Central Coast.

Tegal
Moderator
Head Sleuth
FilledFilledFilledFilledFilled
For post 6a831056 9031 45d7 8d6d 949589ae360d

I don't think 2% is that terrible a number. It's on par with how many watch on fox sports (relatively speaking). 

The difference is, fox pay $40millon per season (that figure includes Socceroos and Asian cup mind you), sky pay $300k (unsure if included Asian cup - doubt it). 

Fox have 3 times the subscribers as sky. So if the % of subscribers watching the A league are the same, sky should be paying 3 times less. That is $13.3million. A discrepancy of $13million. That is getting most of the games filmed for them as well. In my opinion this shows just how much the monopoly sky has over on site broadcasting is worth to them. 

It also shows that sky don't value (possibly correctly so) games other than the nix at all. This only furthers Smithys argument that this isn't the nix/NZFs problem at all. 

What people fail to add into their equations is what the nix contribute to that $40million the FFA receive from fox per season. Based on tv ratings I have worked out that we contribute $3.02million of the value of that. Add $300k from sky and we bring more value ($3.32M) to the FFA than both the jets ($3.18M) and mariners ($3.28M). So once again, this is nothing to do with tv ratings, or the value of the phoenix to the league. It is purely a mafia style shake down by the FFA to try and get some extra coin. 

Edited by Tegal March 15, 2015 00:46

Allegedly

Junior82
Legend
FilledFilledFilledFilledFilled
For post benny

Gorgeous football.

Individual brilliance.

Trails of destruction.

Caressing of balls.

Boom! (times lots)

"Phoenix till they lose"

Posting 97% bollox, 8% lies and 3.658% genuine opinion. 

Genuine opinion: FTFFA

yellowsite
First Team Squad
FilledFilledFilledEmptyEmpty
For post jpeg 20160724 111553 831378221 1
Tegal
Moderator
Head Sleuth
FilledFilledFilledFilledFilled
For post 6a831056 9031 45d7 8d6d 949589ae360d

he clearly did his research before publicising those comments.....not...

Allegedly

number8
Starting XI
FilledFilledFilledEmptyEmpty
For post flag

Andy Harper is not very clever. Just provocative theories in pseudo smart talk. 'My own personal opinion', sure it's you own opinion that's why I don't care.

Hard News
Moderator
Early retirement
FilledFilledFilledFilledFilled
For post smexy f

By 'my own personal opinion' he means 'what de Bohun told me to say'.

Global Game
Starting XI
FilledFilledFilledEmptyEmpty
For post red peak
FFA also desperately want FTA (free to air) deal. It would be great if expat kiwis in the land of oz supported Phoenix in greater numbers - viewership numbers, at games, merchandise, mini membership etc. Some may come on board the Stripey bandwagon this season but this is a much longer term issue for the club.

Planet Earth is football.

C-Diddy
Chant Savant
FilledFilledFilledFilledFilled
For post image

Dont fudgeing start me on that cod Andy sharkcod Harper...

Fudgeing hate him!

Twit!

"Ive just re-visited this and once again realised that C-Diddy is a genius - a drunk, Newcastle bred disgrace - but a genius." - Hard News, 11:39am 4th June 2009

ConanTroutman
Marquee
FilledFilledFilledFilledEmpty
For post kyuss study  3

Global Game wrote:
FFA also desperately want FTA (free to air) deal. It would be great if expat kiwis in the land of oz supported Phoenix in greater numbers - viewership numbers, at games, merchandise, mini membership etc. Some may come on board the Stripey bandwagon this season but this is a much longer term issue for the club.
Sounds like they're getting closer to getting that deal: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/channel-seven-confirms-interest-in-broadcasting-aleague-and-socceroos-20150318-1m21ak.html

By all accounts, Channel 7's coverage of the T20 cricket a few months ago was great too.
:

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis. You can't trust people.

Global Game
Starting XI
FilledFilledFilledEmptyEmpty
For post red peak

Global Game wrote:
FFA also desperately want FTA (free to air) deal. It would be great if expat kiwis in the land of oz supported Phoenix in greater numbers - viewership numbers, at games, merchandise, mini membership etc. Some may come on board the Stripey bandwagon this season but this is a much longer term issue for the club.
Sounds like they're getting closer to getting that deal: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/channel-seven-confirms-interest-in-broadcasting-aleague-and-socceroos-20150318-1m21ak.html

By all accounts, Channel 7's coverage of the T20 cricket a few months ago was great too.
:

SBS threaten to pull football

And now this...SBS saying if you don't want us, we don't want you! Though, knowing SBS charter there could be other machinations at work.

Planet Earth is football.

Surge
Can I have some lungs please miss
FilledFilledFilledFilledEmpty
For post dsc00298

It's all posturing - the same stuff happened with NRL/AFL rights.

Global Game
Starting XI
FilledFilledFilledEmptyEmpty
For post red peak
Yup, correct. And now Ten network have weighed in too. Bidding war amongst FTA networks is Gallop's dream.

Planet Earth is football.

C-Diddy
Chant Savant
FilledFilledFilledFilledFilled
For post image

We've seen this before.

Seven had the rights to the NSL and Socceroos matches and basically buried it alive so that it wouldnt affect their coverage of the AFL. Showed major Socceroos games live with ads at regular intervals during matches and only had a 1 hour highlights package of NSL which they aired at 10:30pm on a monday night.

And they will do exactly the same again if they get the chance!

Fudgeing disgrace!

"Ive just re-visited this and once again realised that C-Diddy is a genius - a drunk, Newcastle bred disgrace - but a genius." - Hard News, 11:39am 4th June 2009

Napier Phoenix
Life and death
FilledFilledFilledEmptyEmpty
For post image

Amongst all of this..... I heard Dome say something about the Nix looking at ways to increase the revenue from (Sky) coverage. If that is the case, why? Unless AFA are putting some pressure on.