Ricki Herbert. Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
Ricki Herbert has resigned as Wellington Phoenix coach
after six years in the role but is in talks with the club about
being a technical advisor to the board.
Herbert's position had been under threat for some time as the
Phoenix languish in last on the A-League table and his move
to resign was probably done before the club took action.
They have won only five of 22 games this season - only one in
2013 - with only five games remaining in the regular season.
They have also been outscored 23-7 over the last nine
Wellington are the only club to reach the playoffs in each of
the last three years in the generous system that sees six of
the 10 teams qualify and, quite incredibly, still have a slim
chance of making the playoffs.
Assistant coach Chris Greenacre will take charge of the side
for tomorrow's visit of Newcastle and is expected to remain
in the job for the remainder of the season but is unlikely to
be given the role fulltime.
There is a handful of coaches available with A-League
experience, including John Kosmina, Ian Ferguson and Miron
Bleiberg, but there are unlikely to be a shortage of
applicants from around the world.
Herbert has managed the Phoenix for more than 150 games since
the club's inception in 2007, after being in charge of the
New Zealand Knights for their His contract was due to expire
at the end of the season before a two-year option on
"football-related matters'' was meant to kick in.
It's not clear what the job of a technical advisor to the
board would entail and whether it would mean he was a
consultant or work with the academy.
In January, Phoenix co-owner Gareth Morgan gave him a vote of
confidence and said a possible role as director of football
would suit Herbert in the future but it's unclear if the club
are still pursuing this option.
"We certainly don't want to lose him,'' Morgan told
"Eventually, [director of football] is where it would be
great to have Ricki because I don't think there's anybody in
New Zealand football that's got as much knowledge and skill
as that man.''
Chairman Rob Morrison later said Herbert's position would be
reviewed at the end of the season.
Herbert will still be in charge of the All Whites, who are on
the verge of progressing to an intercontinental playoff match
against the fourth-placed side from North and Central America
for a spot at next year's World Cup. A win over New Caledonia
in Dunedin on March 22 will see the All Whites win the
Phoenix captain Andrew Durante and Greenacre are due to front
media after training later this morning.