NEWCASTLE JETS 1 MELBOURNE VICTORY 0
WELLINGTON PHOENIX 3 BRISBANE ROAR 2
SYDNEY FC 1 WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 0
MELBOURNE CITY 3 CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 1
PERTH GLORY 3 ADELAIDE UNITED 1
Free Scoring Wellington End Brisbane’s Unbeaten Run
Brisbane Roar’s high flying start to the season came back down to Earth after Wellington Phoenix came from a goal down to win 3-2 at home, dispatching the Roar who still look potent up front but are developing a worrying habit of conceding goals week by week.
Dimi Petratros continued his fine patch of form this season by giving the Roar the early lead before Michael ‘Wee Mac’ McGlinchey pegged one back for the home side with a beautifully struck free kick. Both teams traded goals before Blake Powell secured all three points for the Nix with a tap in in the 78th minute.
Wellington would be pretty happy with their start to the season but that would be short lived thanks to an announcement from the FFA on the following Monday…
News and Notes
The big talking point of the week was the announcement by the FFA that they had rejected a proposal from the Welnix Group to have a new ten year license in the competition. The news basically calls into the question the future of the club in the competition as FFA CEO David Gallop suggested he was unhappy with the club’s contribution to the league stating that they failed to meet a number of desired off-field metrics including average attendance and tv viewership figures.
The news, although it has been brewing for some time, has been met with widespread disbelief from the Australian football community who has rallied around the Phoenix’s social media ‘#SaveTheNix’ campaign.
My personal views are that the decision is shockingly short sighted and in no way helpful to the future of the competition. It was never going to be easy building a thriving, successful domestic football competition and in the eleven year history of the league, we have seen three clubs disbanded due to financial hardship – New Zealand Knights, Gold Coast United and Northern Fury. In the current league, Newcastle Jets are without an owner and both Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners have had issues with players getting paid on time or owners getting jittery feet about their investment in the club. With that in mind, in a competition of ten teams, for the FFA to voluntarily put a club like Wellington Phoenix who is financially stable and has a small but loyal fanbase on notice and potentially drive them out of the competition seems like a terrible decision. The move would majorly set back professional football in New Zealand and surely would cause fans of any struggling club to wonder for their clubs future. There are plenty of other clubs that have the same attendance figures as the Phoenix. Could they be next?
The belief was that Gallop would look to boot the Phoenix and replace them with a club from South Sydney, a rumour which prompted Sydney FC CEO Scott Barlow to issue a statement criticizing any planned move as being severely detrimental to the NSW market and cannibalizing the supporters who are already spread across four clubs in the state. To remove the Phoenix and added a fifth NSW team in a ten team competition risks turning our domestic league into a regional one.
To date, no resolution has been reached and its not clear if the WelNix will apply for a shorter license or simply walk away. It’s a sad state of affairs with supporters of the club uncertain over their future beyond the current season.
- Defending champions Melbourne Victory have had an unexpectedly slow start to the season and this was compounded by a shock loss to unfancied Newcastle Jets who have surpassed all expectations at this early stage of the season. Can new manager Scott Miller pull off a minor mircale and turn around the fortunes for the club at Hunter Valley? Journeyman David Carney scored the decisive goal for the Jets. The last time he scored two goals in a season…the Jets won the title.
- Western Sydney Wanderers can’t seem to catch a break for a second season in a row. They fought valiantly in the Sydney derby before going down to a late goal to Ninkovic. Could Tony Popovic’s job be on the line soon?