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Kingz reconstruction confirmed

By By Ryland James

Published: 4:20PM Tuesday September 28, 2004 Source: One Sport

The restructured Football Kingz - with a new home and chairman - will have to wait a little longer to discovering whether they will be one of the eight franchises in the 2005 Australian National League.

New Zealand's only professional soccer side were due to find out in the next few days if their bid had been accepted by Australian Soccer Association, but the decision on which eight teams have been chosen has been delayed until mid October.

If, as anticipated, the Kingz are accepted, they will play their home games at North Harbour Stadium.

Off the pitch, the company has been restructured with Brian Katzen now officially the majority shareholder with a 60% stake in the new company which has changed it's name, adding a Ltd title to the prefix Football Kingz.

And it was announced that general manager Guy Hedderwick has been promoted to the role of chief executive officer with Anthony Lee announced as the new chairman at a pres conference on Tuesday.

But the Kingz have no coach, manager or even players, with only All Whites Danny Hay and Noah Hickey signed up and Hedderwick admitted it was a catch-22, until they formally enter the league, the recruitment drive has to be put on ice.

The new league is planned to kick off in August 2005 and by then the Kingz could even have a new name with the club considering re-branding the Football Kingz name.

"We have an open mind, but must consider all options if the new club is to have the best chance of success," said Hedderwick.

"I am not saying there will definitely be a change, simply that we are open to all options and will listen to our stakeholders."

Former majority owner Chris Turner is included on the Kingz board and will take a role as youth development officer.

While football fans have nearly 12 months to wait until kick off, the Kingz new chairman said the mountains of time to fill will allow the club to learn from previous mistakes and get things right.

"We are unlikely to kick a ball for a year, which gives us plenty of opportunity to get things right," said Anthony Lee.

"Looking at re-branding is part of that, but all the teams have been asked to consider re-branding by the league's organisers as part of differentiating the new and the old.

"I think it's a big step forward for us to have a new home at North Harbour Stadium and it fits in well with Soccer New Zealand.

"We have been advised by ASA that they are delaying the decision, the reason behind it is that they need to finalise the criteria, it would be wrong to say that we have been accepted, we feel positive about the bid, but no decision has been taken."

Hedderwick said the Kingz have survived thus far since their season finished early in 2004 by loans from a shareholder and are looking to attract major sponsorship.