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Ole Madrids in legal threat

There seems to be a storm of discontent blowing in the windy city.

Within a few hours of hearing Team Wellington were amongst the new eight franchises named by New Zealand Soccer, their windy city rivals Ole Madrids had fired off a letter to NZS chief executive officer Bill MacGowan asking for the reasons why they had not been successful.

The letter, written by one of Madrids' directors who is part of a law firm, has been interpreted as an initiation of legal proceedings by NZS, although Ole Madrids spokesman Mark Scott insists the letter is simply requesting clarification as to why they failed and legal proceedings have NOT begun.

"All we have done is asked New Zealand Soccer why we weren't included and we have no basis at present on which to take things further," he said.

"Certainly, one of the options is to take some form of legal action, but until we have detailed information we can't make any kind of decision like that.

"Of course we were disappointed not to get a franchise, we had some good feedback from them when they came to visit us and we felt we had met their requirements.

"We have had some indications as to why our bid was unsuccessful; one of them was that there was a rival bid from Wellington.

"Only a couple of years back, the city had two national league teams, so to suggest there's not enough talent in the area is ludicrous.

"Having said that, we wholly support the idea of a franchise scheme and we want to get this matter resolved quickly."

With both sides stating that they want to see the matter resolved amicably and quickly, NZS's chief executive was repeating the offer to Madrids that he made to the other two unsuccessful franchises - Team Bay of Plenty and East Auckland FC - to meet with them personally to discuss why the board rejected them.

"I'd like to see the matter resolved amicably," said MacGowan, "and we are treating it seriously. In my experience of business, when a legal letter arrives it is the start of proceedings and we are treating the matter seriously.

"It's disappointing that this has happened and it would be nice if they would take up the offer from Team Wellington to get together and make the Wellington franchise an absolute success.

"I repeat the offer I made to East Auckland and Team Bay of Plenty that I would be willing to meet with them, but I am reluctant to do so if legal proceedings have begun."

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