The Day The Football Died

Posted on October 27, 2015 by Nz_Dave

As I write this we are almost 24 hours on from the news that has rocked the New Zealand football world. Our licence, our club and the future of football in New Zealand are hanging in the balance.


How do I feel?


The short answer is I don’t know.


My day has ranged from angry to hopeful then right back to completely shattered.


This wasn’t a simple denial of a 10 year licence. I knew that from the headline alone. Anything less than a long-term licence for the Phoenix is the signing of a death warrant. We have an expiry date as of now. That date might be early next year. It might be in four years’ time. It might even be in ten years’ time. The intention however is now completely clear. A club in New Zealand is not wanted in this league. We are a gap-filler in their bigger plans, ready to be disposed of at a whim.

Last night as I read that statement from the FFA I was numb.


The longer this licence issue raged on the more I have worried but surely the day was coming soon when logic would prevail. If there was bad news coming it was a problem for future Dave to deal with and it wasn’t coming anytime soon. Yet here I was reading the words that I’d dreaded so much.


“Well, shit!” That was the best I could manage by way of response. My flatmate doesn’t watch football (except when I drag her along to games) and wasn’t going to understand what this even meant. I’m sitting in my lounge having one of the biggest aspects of my life ripped away before my eyes and that’s all I have “well, shit”.


As a guy who swears an awful lot, I’m disappointed to still not be able to find the right word for how that moment truly felt.


I read that release a great many times last night. I learned nothing new. I’ve read it again today and I’ve learned nothing else.


The FFA has offered no reason, no explanations and certainly no details. Ok that’s fine I’m just a fan right so of course I don’t have the full decision. No, the club have no idea either. They are scrambling trying to find out what has happened.


The last few years have seen many a story seeded to the media criticising the Nix for whatever reason. Our crowds are too small, we don’t develop Australian players, we cost too much money, we don’t sell enough memberships, the Sky TV deal is not good enough…I could go on.


The lines and misinformation gets rather tired after a while (and I’ll discuss the facts in a coming post) but the interesting point here was that the FFA didn’t even bother to trot out those lines as reasons here. Although they were alive and well in some corners of Twitter. This was simply a ‘no because we said so’.


I’m lucky in that I have more contact with staff and players than most through what I do with the Yellow Fever. I don’t learn anything that wouldn’t be told to any fan who asked but I do get to be in the lucky position of being in the right places to be able to ask.


On Saturday night I asked. The response was resounding in its reassurance. “Things are progressing well, the FFA wants us there and we want to be there. These things just take time”. It felt good. It rang true and I have no reason to doubt that’s how the staff felt. This has gutted them as well as us.


We don’t meet some criteria they have just decided on. The club don’t know what those criteria are. They were busy asking for that detail this morning. Rob Morrison flew over to present to a board meeting after months of negotiations without even being told the criteria an extension would need to meet.


Surely that can’t be true? Someone has to have moved the goalposts here.


I’d love to see how some of the other clubs in the A-League measure up if there really is a list of criteria we aren’t meeting here. We might not have the best metrics in the league but we are also far from the worst. The only criteria we lose out on is “Australian city”. Maybe we can rebrand as “Very East Sydney Phoenix” and have a better shot.


Whatever has happened here the FFA are calling the shots and have played everyone for the fool.


It’s been a bleak day. But you know what those West Islanders have our back. Support has poured in from even the most unlikely sources. This decision has shocked many and they have been quick to express that. Even those who want to see the Cronulla Riots (@ CronullaRiotsFC) or one of the many other bids get off the ground can’t see why it needs to be at the expense of one of the most stable clubs in the league. If you want a 12-team league you need more teams not less.


There are many plans afoot to fight this. We aren’t going to give up easy and I thank those of you out there supporting us – there are too many of you to name.


Right now this hurts. Come April it might hurt a whole lot more and I don’t know where this is going to end up but either way you’ll get to read one fan’s perspective here.


How do I feel you asked?


I don’t know but I’ll tell you again tomorrow.


Comments

Dinosaur Dave
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over 9 years
Listen here Fudgeface
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about 11 years

That was pretty much my reaction too. "Well, shark".

Followed closely by "FUCK THE FFA"

bwtcf
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Marquee
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about 11 years

Nz_Dave wrote:
New blog post added: "The Day The Football Died".

Thanks Dave. Fantastic description of what I was feeling too.

Starting XI
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about 14 years

Well said NZ_Dave

You are right, we arent going to give up easy.  Wellington is my home town although I live on the Sunshine Coast in QLD now,  my Wife (Aussie) and 2 Boys (both Aussies) look forward to our trips to Brisbane when the Nix are in town.  My boys are devastated and my youngest (8yrs) wants to send his socceroos Jersey to the FFA, he is going to write a letter to go with it,  which I will gladly post once done.

28
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charliec wrote:

Well said NZ_Dave

You are right, we arent going to give up easy.  Wellington is my home town although I live on the Sunshine Coast in QLD now,  my Wife (Aussie) and 2 Boys (both Aussies) look forward to our trips to Brisbane when the Nix are in town.  My boys are devastated and my youngest (8yrs) wants to send his socceroos Jersey to the FFA, he is going to write a letter to go with it,  which I will gladly post once done.


Please put a copy of his letter here too!
Starting XI
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almost 11 years

Thanks Dave. Good to hear others reactions as well. Myself was just shock. I sat there not knowing what to say, just sat there, and sat there. Then tweeted a whole bunch, and then I actually felt like crying, it sucked big time, and wife didn't understand, but I think she does now.

You know the day I dread? The Day it is confirmed and I have to tell my 5 year old daughter that they are taking away her Football Team, that she loves and has been attending games for 4 years, and gets special Daddy Daughter time at the games, and even worse it is in her first season as an actual season ticket holder...How do I tell her? :(

Trialist
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JonoNewton wrote:

Thanks Dave. Good to hear others reactions as well. Myself was just shock. I sat there not knowing what to say, just sat there, and sat there. Then tweeted a whole bunch, and then I actually felt like crying, it sucked big time, and wife didn't understand, but I think she does now.

You know the day I dread? The Day it is confirmed and I have to tell my 5 year old daughter that they are taking away her Football Team, that she loves and has been attending games for 4 years, and gets special Daddy Daughter time at the games, and even worse it is in her first season as an actual season ticket holder...How do I tell her? :(

I'm pleased your wife understands your pain - mine had no idea why I was so morose, cursing the hell out of some unfamiliar body in Australia and disappearing off to the garage to gather solace in a quiet beer or two by myself..

Like you I will also miss being able to take my youngest daughter to the game.  I'll even miss her continuous blabber through the game :)

This just sucks.

Starting XI
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thatguynz wrote:

JonoNewton wrote:

Thanks Dave. Good to hear others reactions as well. Myself was just shock. I sat there not knowing what to say, just sat there, and sat there. Then tweeted a whole bunch, and then I actually felt like crying, it sucked big time, and wife didn't understand, but I think she does now.

You know the day I dread? The Day it is confirmed and I have to tell my 5 year old daughter that they are taking away her Football Team, that she loves and has been attending games for 4 years, and gets special Daddy Daughter time at the games, and even worse it is in her first season as an actual season ticket holder...How do I tell her? :(

I'm pleased your wife understands your pain - mine had no idea why I was so morose, cursing the hell out of some unfamiliar body in Australia and disappearing off to the garage to gather solace in a quiet beer or two by myself..

Like you I will also miss being able to take my youngest daughter to the game.  I'll even miss her continuous blabber through the game :)

This just sucks.

I'll even miss the nights she is too tired and we have to leave around 80 mins cause she is done...And that is insanity :P

bwtcf
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Marquee
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about 11 years

JonoNewton wrote:

thatguynz wrote:

JonoNewton wrote:

Thanks Dave. Good to hear others reactions as well. Myself was just shock. I sat there not knowing what to say, just sat there, and sat there. Then tweeted a whole bunch, and then I actually felt like crying, it sucked big time, and wife didn't understand, but I think she does now.

You know the day I dread? The Day it is confirmed and I have to tell my 5 year old daughter that they are taking away her Football Team, that she loves and has been attending games for 4 years, and gets special Daddy Daughter time at the games, and even worse it is in her first season as an actual season ticket holder...How do I tell her? :(

I'm pleased your wife understands your pain - mine had no idea why I was so morose, cursing the hell out of some unfamiliar body in Australia and disappearing off to the garage to gather solace in a quiet beer or two by myself..

Like you I will also miss being able to take my youngest daughter to the game.  I'll even miss her continuous blabber through the game :)

This just sucks.

I'll even miss the nights she is too tired and we have to leave around 80 mins cause she is done...And that is insanity :P

It's not over yet Johno. Focus on what we can affect. We need to do whatever we can to get people to games and/or buy membrships. If enough of us convince enough people to do this, you might not have to tell Riley at all...

Starting XI
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almost 11 years

bwtcf wrote:

JonoNewton wrote:

thatguynz wrote:

JonoNewton wrote:

Thanks Dave. Good to hear others reactions as well. Myself was just shock. I sat there not knowing what to say, just sat there, and sat there. Then tweeted a whole bunch, and then I actually felt like crying, it sucked big time, and wife didn't understand, but I think she does now.

You know the day I dread? The Day it is confirmed and I have to tell my 5 year old daughter that they are taking away her Football Team, that she loves and has been attending games for 4 years, and gets special Daddy Daughter time at the games, and even worse it is in her first season as an actual season ticket holder...How do I tell her? :(

I'm pleased your wife understands your pain - mine had no idea why I was so morose, cursing the hell out of some unfamiliar body in Australia and disappearing off to the garage to gather solace in a quiet beer or two by myself..

Like you I will also miss being able to take my youngest daughter to the game.  I'll even miss her continuous blabber through the game :)

This just sucks.

I'll even miss the nights she is too tired and we have to leave around 80 mins cause she is done...And that is insanity :P

It's not over yet Johno. Focus on what we can affect. We need to do whatever we can to get people to games and/or buy membrships. If enough of us convince enough people to do this, you might not have to tell Riley at all...

100% onboard, I am buying a second childs season pass once I get paid tomorrow and I will be bringing TWO troublesome kids along to every game. (Might even be more as my nieces, and at least two of Riley's friends want to attend games)

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