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Phoenix fans are rooting for their team in a round two A-League win against the Mariners
Wellington Phoenix supporters group Yellow Fever will protest against the Australian Professional League’s highly controversial decision to sell hosting rights to the A-League men’s and women’s finals during a half-game protest during the club’s double-header against Adelaide United.
On Monday, the APL announced that the next three men’s and women’s finals will be held in Sydney as part of an announced $20 million deal with the New South Wales government, regardless of which clubs finish at the top of their table.
Grand finals are traditionally played at their home qualifiers as a reward for success during the regular season.
The decision, made by the APL board, was met with fierce and almost unanimous opposition from various quarters throughout the game, including those most affected by the change – fans and players.
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Yellow Fever issued a statement on Thursday to condemn the move, which would prevent Wellington from hosting the grand final for the foreseeable future.
To show their disapproval, the group planned a protest for Saturday’s double header at Sky Stadium.
For the 20th male match, the members of Yellow Fever will vacate the designated area in hall 21 and be transferred to another hall by the television camera, where they will remain during the wedding of the women.
Wellington Phoenix center back Scott Wootton says the decision to play the grand finals in Sydney for the next three years is not fair.
They encouraged other supporters to join them, regardless of the supporters traveling from Adelaide.
“Yellow Fever stand in solidarity with clubs and players across the league in offering the most critical decision announced this week to sell Sydney at the top of the season,” the group said in a statement.
“We understand that there are financial pressures on the league and the clubs involved, but to remove the ultimate incentive for all teams to earn the right to the grand final, who are standing in their stadium, is not an acceptable trade-off.
“The league is weakening and declining, and it hurts not only the fans but the players themselves – a view widely expressed by the players’ base on social media and released by the PFA in a statement on Wednesday night.
“Nobody wants to see the game stripped of color and the noise it brings to active fans, but we don’t feel any action is unacceptable.”
The Yellow Fever also called on Phoenix President Rob Morrison to explain his position with them immediately after the APL released a statement saying the club’s chairman had confirmed his support for the deal.
Morrison traveled to Melbourne to discuss the crisis with other club owners as they deal with the ongoing fallout.