Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale is one of the biggest stars
in the Premier League. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Don't run out and buy your Tottenham Hotspur replica
shirt just yet.
Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome has played down
a report that the English Premier League club could travel to
the capital to play the Phoenix later this year.
A report today said the London club was in talks with the
Phoenix to play a friendly game at Westpac Stadium in July as
part of their pre-season tour to Asia.
Dome said they were in the early stages of discussions with
Spurs, who are in fourth place in the Premier League, but
said the dream was a long way from being a reality.
"It's a bit of a beat-up. I think people have put two and two
together and got eight," Dome told APNZ.
"The basic upshot of that is, have we been talking to a few
clubs? Yes, we have been talking to a few clubs. There's a
lot of work to do on this sort of thing. Are we close? No,
not really. But do we hope to have a Premier League team here
in the off-season? Yes, we'd love to, but it's a big ask."
Hosting a Premier League outfit would be the preferred option
for the Phoenix compared to another European club, Dome said.
They had previously received enquiries from Italian sides but
Dome said they wouldn't have enough pulling power with the
The Phoenix have hosted Argentinian side Boca Juniors as well
as the LA Galaxy but a top-four club from the Premier League
would be a new level.
"We have to have a number of parties coming to the party in
terms of getting it across the line and that includes the
city council, a potential corporate partner, the stadium
itself and then of course, we've got to hope that the fans
turn up. Because if the fans don't turn up you just take a
bath," Dome said.
The Phoenix had been interested in getting Manchester United
across the ditch when the English giants are scheduled to
play an A-League All Stars XI in Sydney in July but Dome said
that match had an "unusual business model that couldn't apply
Dome said the Phoenix had expressed an interest in trying to
bring Liverpool here but they had slipped off the radar.
"We will continue to work on it. We are hopefully but we
don't want to say that Tottenham are coming here, that
wouldn't be right.
"It's an ongoing discussion that started maybe six to eight
months ago so it has gone on for a little while and we have
been throwing things around and there's been some discussions
but it doesn't mean it's any more likely to happen than any
The Phoenix remain in last place on the A-League ladder after
they were held to a 1-1 draw by the Newcastle Jets at the
Cake Tin yesterday.