Phoenix chairman Rob Morrison says the time is ripe for an Auckland A-League team — and other owners from across the competition would back a proposal from the Queen City.
There are some residual scars from the failed ventures with the Football Kingz (1999-2004) and the New Zealand Knights (2005-2006), but a lot has changed in that time.
Despite his own struggles in fighting for the viability of the Phoenix over the past few years, Morrison has no doubt that a second New Zealand franchise could work — and is needed.
"It's a simple question," Morrison told the Herald on Sunday. "How long do we want to run around doing what we are doing, or do we want to grow? At some stage, with the biggest population base, football players ... people here might be interested in taking it to a bigger level.
"Auckland is the biggest population base without a franchise. Yes, the experiment in the past failed, but that is not necessarily indicative of potential success in the future."
The key is money, as it won't be a cheap exercise. A new licence could cost about A$10 million.
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"It would need someone who is prepared to get in, roll up their sleeves and back it," said Morrison.
"They are big budgets and it needs serious backing."
A franchise built on the base established by Auckland City FC is the most viable option. Auckland City have made no secret of their long standing A-League ambitions, and continue to assess potential partners.
"We are always on the lookout," said chairman Ivan Vuksich. "We have got some feelers out in Auckland, as well as Asia. We will get our bait in the water, have a look around for the right people."