Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today welcomed the extension to Wellington Phoenix’s A-League licence and praised the remarkable professionalism displayed by the players throughout the season.

Speaking after it was confirmed that Football Federation Australia (FFA) had granted the club a 10 year extension, PFA Chairman Craig Foster said the news was a positive step forward after players had endured months of uncertainty.

“The past few months have without doubt been extremely difficult for our members at Phoenix and I applaud them for the way they have conducted themselves in such difficult circumstances,” said Foster.

“Stability and a clear vision for the game is fundamental if Australian football is to achieve its potential. There is little doubt that the uncertainty surrounding the club has hurt the A-League this season.

“The competition’s ability to attract and retain the best possible talent is severely reduced if players are uncertain as to whether clubs will be able to fulfill their obligations to them.

“I applaud both parties for implementing commercial and membership benchmarks throughout the life of the agreement. It is vital that every club contributes commercially to the growth of the competition and that the bar is continually raised through the inclusion of ambitious targets in order for the competition to reach its full potential.”

Wellington Phoenix Captain and PFA Delegate Andrew Durante said the news was a huge relief for the players.

“The past few months have been difficult for the players, fans and staff of the club,” said Durante.

“The support we received from our fellow players across the A-League and football fans both in New Zealand and Australia was overwhelming. It highlighted the unity between the fans and the players.

“We now look forward to building on the foundations the club has built, and playing our part in the growth of the A-League.”