A-League bid on the brink
New Zealand Soccer CEO Graham Seatter told the NZ Herald on Monday that the Wellington A-League bid is likely to fall short of the captial required by the FFA.
"Unless a white knight gallops along in the next day or two, it ain't going to happen," said Seatter.
"I haven't found anyone prepared to make the investment we need.
"Our bid is strong in all areas except in being able to front up with the cash on day one. It is hard for me in Auckland to get the investment we need for a franchise in Wellington. That is something Wellington needs to step up to."
Wellington bid spokesman John Dow confirmed on Tuesday they had around $1.1million, well short of the $2 million mark demanded by Football Federation Australia.
A-League operations manager Matt Carroll, who announced his resignation on Monday, believes New Zealand is capable of running a franchise but wants the requisite funding secured after granting several deadline extensions - the latest of which came on Monday.
"I have no doubt New Zealand can run an A-League licence but they need the working capital to do it," Carroll said on Monday.
Carroll has approached fledgling Australian franchise Tropical Football, based in Townsville, about taking the final spot in the league if the Kiwi bid does fall over.
The Townsville franchise, set to be coached by All Whites legend and Oceania Player of the Century Wynton Rufer, were expecting to join the league in 2008 but look ready to step up for the coming season if required.
Carroll has stated previously that he sees the funding required to run any new franchise as the number one priority and Tropical Football spokesman James Gage told the NZ Herald that would not be an issue.
"We could have a minimum of $2 million, probably more, in the bank within 24 to 48 hours, and see a capitalisation of about $8 million in the first 12 to 18 months."
If those figures are accurate and New Zealand Soccer can't pull a rabbit from its hat on Tuesday, fully professional football in New Zealand seems set to die.