As league's most famously quotable coach Jack Gibson once said, sometimes the rot is in the woodwork, and it ain't coming out.

Cue New Zealand Football.

It's official - the organisation is a catastrophe to the point they are funny, although the results of their stuff ups aren't.

Hard on the heels of getting the under-23s kicked out of Olympic contention and launching a faux appeal and getting offside with Oceania and annoying their own national coach because they can't arrange decent games, they've now botched the simple matter of getting a transfer for Englishman Alex Jones to the Phoenix rubber stamped by FIFA.


They missed the deadline.

The excuses made you wonder if their office was The Office. Someone was leaving. The internet wouldn't work. Someone dropped a cream scone on the form (I made that last one up, although it could be true).

To their credit, NZF have apologised to the Phoenix, no doubt by sending a postcard without a stamp to the wrong address.


Honestly, a key person couldn't get on the internet at the time? Where were they then? On a free diving safari? Encased in 20 metres of lead? In outer space, searching for Einstein's ripples?

To their credit, NZF have apologised to the Phoenix, no doubt by sending a postcard without a stamp to the wrong address.

They were sorry for "our part" in the blunder, without really explaining who the other contributors were, probably because there weren't any.

What the heck does New Zealand Football do all week?

If the Phoenix need a transfer dealt with, NZF should go on red alert, throw all their resources at it, get excited...because transfers are the lifeblood of football and they surely don't get many to handle. Pretend you are Manchester United for a day, with adrenaline flowing in the transfer window. Man, this is exciting. A little siren should go off in the office. People might run about.

The Phoenix probably thought this: NZF had a form filling nightmare last year, and have learnt from their mistakes. WRONG.

Let's have a cup of tea and a think about a solution.

An organisation that can't fill out forms properly is unlikely to be capable of fixing up an organisation that can't fill out forms properly.

A higher authority, like Sport New Zealand, must step in and put NZF into administration, as in they take over the office lock stock and barrell, create a new culture, then step away.

SNZ doesn't have a snappy motto in Latin. But it does have this.

"Sport New Zealand is proud to be the guardian of our country's world-leading sporting system, from grassroots through to elite sport."

Sounds like the perfect application for this job.

SNZ(it used to be SPARC) has taken emergency action before with troubled sports including league and basketball. Time to stop the own goals. Football needs a big new signing.

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