Undated: 6:20am – The All Whites will be the primary benefactor of an expected $1 million funding boost for New Zealand’s elite football teams.
In 2014, New Zealand Football and the New Zealand Professional Footballers Association brokered a deal in relation to the home leg of the intercontinental playoff for the 2018 World Cup.
The arrangement secured an extra million-dollars for the All Whites and the Football Ferns programmes if the men’s team made that playoff tie and sold-out the match.
With less than 1500 of the 38,000 tickets for next week’s highly-anticipated qualifying clash against Peru in Wellington available, the money looks all-but secure.
New Zealand PFA chair and former All Whites midfielder Harry Ngata said a packed Westpac Stadium would be a huge positive for the country’s elite teams.
“We’ve taken the longer term view with NZF that a portion of money, receipts or commercial revenue out of this game, that we’d like to attribute it back to a specialised All Whites and Football Ferns contingency fund.
“Whether that’s to support [Ferns coach] Tony Readings or [All Whites coach] Anthony Hudson after this next World Cup cycle so they can prepare their teams with the comfort that we can if needed assist where we potentially couldn’t in years gone by.
“We’re hoping that we can fill the stadium, I’m sure we will, then we can use that resource to better prepare in future World Cup cycles, or whatever it may be.”
In return for the potential funding boost, the NZPFA has contributed $500,000 to the All Whites programme during the past three years.
That money, which comes from the funding the organisation receives from global players union FifPro, largely ensured the teams’ travel to and from games was of a high quality and the players had everything they needed to perform at a high level.
That also ensured players were returned to their clubs in as best condition as possible.
Ngata said the extra money wouldn’t necessarily mean more games but felt it would mean the teams were even better prepared to succeed on the world stage.
He also confirmed the spending of the $1 million would be jointly administered.
“It will be administered between NZF and the PFA, it won’t be writing a cheque and it goes into NZF coffers.
“We are going to set up separate body to govern that process.”
While it is not yet known how much commercial revenue NZF will earn for the match against Peru in Wellington, the 2013 playoff against Mexico netted the national body around $6 million for television rights.
They also make money from ticket sales to the match.
NZF and the All Whites would pocket more than $10 million if they were to defeat Peru and qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia, and more for going beyond the group stages.
The NZPFA has provided monetary contributions to each of the All Whites’ last four World Cup campaigns.