Wellington football club avoids liquidation

New Zealand’s only professional football club, Wellington

Phoenix, has avoided liquidation by paying levies owed to a

government agency, the Accident Compensation Corporation.

The Corporation filed court papers starting liquidation

proceedings on Tuesday saying it was owed NZ$260,000 (US$180,000)

in unpaid levies by the club, which plays in Australia’s

A-League.

The ACC is a government agency which provides New Zealanders

with a form of insurance against injury or disability. New Zealand

workers and businesses contribute to the scheme through levies on

wages.

Wellington called a news conference later Tuesday to say payment

had been made to ACC and liquidation proceedings had ceased.

Accountant Brett Whyte said legal proceedings began when an agreed

payment of NZ$65,000 (US$45,000) had been missed because of a cash

flow problem.

A check for the outstanding amount had been paid to ACC and

court proceedings had been avoided, he said.

ACC chief executive Keith McLea was glad the matter had been

settled but said ”it is unfortunate that it took the threat of

legal action to achieve this payment.”

Earlier, Phoenix spokesman John Mitchell said the club was not

disputing that payment was owed to ACC but was contesting the

fairness of the levies.

He said the club paid about $14,000 (US$10,000) per player per

year to ACC but also had to pay for private medical insurance in

Australia under A-League regulations.