Wellington Phoenix

Founded In
Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington Phoenix

About Wellington Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix Football Club was founded in 2007, as a replacement for the New Zealand Knights, who were stripped of their A-League place due to financial difficulties. Despite being based in New Zealand, they play in the Australian professional league system and the Football Federation of Australia have granted them a licence to remain there until at least 2016. Their main rivals are Perth Glory, with whom they contest the Distance Derby; named due to the huge distance between the two clubs.

The franchise was originally owned by Terry Serepisos, a property developer from Wellington, who bought the rights to an A-League place from the FFA. However, in 2011, Serepisos suffered financial difficulties, which eventually led to him being declared bankrupt. As a result, he gave up ownership of the franchise and it was subsequently purchased by a group of seven businessmen from the area, with Rob Morrison serving as the head of the consortium and the club president. 

In 2009-10, Wellington Phoenix finished the regular season in 4th place and advanced to the Finals Series, becoming the first New Zealand-based club to ever do so. There, they defeated Perth Glory and the Newcastle Jets to reach the Preliminary Final, where they were beaten by the eventual winners, Sydney FC. Despite their loss in the Preliminary Final, it remains their best domestic performance to date. 

Amongst the most notable players to have played for the team are Shane Smeltz, Ben Sigmund and Manny Muscat, who have all won the Players' Player of the Year award at the club. The side's goal scoring record is held by former Barbados international striker, Paul Ifill.

Wellington Phoenix play their home games at the Westpac Stadium, also known as Wellington Regional Stadium. The venue has been nicknamed the 'Ring of Fire' by supporters and is currently able to hold up to 36,000 supporters.