The conspiracy theories are clearly valid. Football Federation Australia has come as close to kicking the Phoenix out of the A-League without actually going ahead with it. Never mind that the club is one of the better run and financially secure in the league, this is all about building empires.
While all other clubs, even the basket cases, have been given a 20 year extension to their license, the Welnix compromise of a 10 year extension has been rejected. Instead the FFA has come back with a four year extension as their final offer.
There seems to be an inevitability of termination at the end of this four year period. So people are predictably suggesting that Welnix should not bother, show the FFA two fingers, tell them where they should stick their four year offer, and avoid pending humiliation.
Not so fast.
During this period there will be a new TV deal signed. Ironically the deal with SKY TV is brokered by the FFA itself (badly). But this is a competition SKY will not want to lose. It has lost a range of rights over the years, and if it was to lose the A-League then that is pretty much it for their coverage of the global game. Rumour has it these rights are around 10% of what they play for the NRL; an increased offer is cynically good business.
Remember that FIFA insists on a decent free-to-air component for its tournaments so they can not rely on those tournaments alone.
During the four year period, if recent history is any guide, there is the strong likelihood that other A-League clubs will fold. As much as it may irk the FFA, they may need the Phoenix to make up the numbers.
Given his track record, it is also highly unlikely that David Gallup will still be heading up the A-League in 2019.
It is a severely compromised position that the Phoenix finds themselves in through no fault of their own, other than a geographical one.
However tempting it may be, throwing in the towel now is not the answer. Get out there, get results, and hopefully this will be a much needed bomb under the casual football fan in Wellington.