Football Federation Australia has slapped the Wellington Phoenix with a near $1 million bill for failing to hit their required off-field metrics this season.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that despite an upswing by nearly 50 percent in home crowds and a rise in local TV ratings, the Phoenix didn't meet the demands of their temporary licence.
The SMH reports the conditions in the licence stipulated the club had to meet certain benchmarks related to broadcast revenue each season, with a "make good" penalty if they didn't.
Chairman Rob Morrison is quoted as saying the payment was "no big deal".
The Phoenix averaged just over 8,500 fans per game for the season, the third lowest in the league, while they had 5,671 members for the 2018-19 season.
The Wellington-based franchise finished sixth in the 10-team competition, making the playoffs for the first time since 2015. However manager Mark Rudan has left after just one season while Johnny Warren Medal winner Roy Krishna is also leaving the club in the offseason.
In 2016 the FFA and Phoenix agreed to a 10-year-deal for the extension of the club's A-League licence - with the club granted an immediate four-year extension of its licence through to the end of the 2019/20 season.
That would be followed by two further three-year extensions through to 2022/23 and then 2025/26, dependent on a number of factors, especially improved broadcast rights from New Zealand.
"I'm very confident," Morrison told the Herald on Sunday in February when asked about the possibility of the Phoenix existing into the next decade.
"But I have always been confident. We have got fantastic backing from the other clubs and I don't see any reason why anything is going to change there. We have to grow ourselves and prove we should be in there, but I'm quite confident."