Phoenix hit with $1m fine for failing to meet benchmarks for crowd sizes, TV ratings

The Wellington Phoenix have reportedly been handed a $1 million fine by Football Federation Australia (FFA) for failing to meet their off-field requirements this season.

Michal Kopczynski of the Phoenix with team mates Alex Rufer and Armando Sosa Pena stand dejected after Melbourne scored during their A-League match in Wellington. Source: Photosport

FFA, which runs the A-League, had set the Phoenix-specific metrics as part of the extension deal the club signed in 2016, but the Sydney Morning Herald reports the Wellington franchise "still fell some way short" and must now pay $1,001,500 as result.

The report added that, as things stand, the Phoenix would be unlikely to hold on to a spot in the A-League due to their failures to increase crowd sizes or TV ratings.

Over the 2018/19 season, the Phoenix averaged just over 8500 supporters per game - the third-lowest in the league - and they had only 5671 members, which also fell short of FFA targets set.

"The reasons behind those hurdles are reasonably obvious, given their unique position in an Australian competition," FFA chief executive David Gallop told the newspaper.

"Every club in the league is expected to perform in their own geographic area, but also add value to the overall league.

"On one hand, Wellington are a very settled and secure financial part of the A-League in terms of their ownership structure, but on the other hand they do hold a unique position, which puts them under scrutiny in some quarters."

The Phoenix are also having to deal with on-field issues heading into next season, with the club losing nine players so far in the off season, including star striker Roy Krishna.