Does Wellington Phoenix have an A-League future?

Wellington Phoenix remain confident the club has a bright future in the A-League and is hoping to sign-off on a licence extension by the end of the season, according to New Zealand reports.

The club is pushing ahead with long-term plans and on Thursday secured their coaching team of Ernie Merrick and Chris Greenacre for another three years.

Phoenix have turned around their fortunes on the pitch, positioning themselves as genuine title contenders for 2014/15 after several seasons of under-par performances.

But their recent success throws up concerns off the pitch with Champions League qualification just one of the potential sticking points for the Oceania ring-in.

Questions have been raised about Phoenix’s future in an expanded 12-team A-League, with Football Federation Australia flagging a larger competition and more derbies to coincide with the next broadcast deal in 2017.

Welnix, which runs Phoenix, is in ongoing talks with FFA and the Asian Football Confederation ahead of the club’s licence expiration at the end of next season.

"There's a lot of variables in there and some of those things are out of our control," Welnix Chair Rob Morrison told Radio New Zealand.

"We're a bit of a hybrid. We sit in Oceania but we're playing in the AFC (so), there's a lot of hoops to jump through with the AFC in terms of getting a licence extension.

"There's a few things we are trying to resolve with the FFA but also from the ownership group's point of view we've carried most of this (the risk) for the past few years and there are a lot of other beneficiaries in terms of the Phoenix performance so there are going to have to be other groups that contribute as well."

Morrison hinted that organisations such as New Zealand Football and Wellington City Council may be asked to do more of the heavy lifting.

The Phoenix boss declined to put a deadline on the renewal: "Because then there is a constant 'why haven't you signed?' and then people get concerned because we haven't signed but I don't have concerns at the moment that's for sure."

Coach Ernie Merrick, who committed his future to the club until the end of 2018, said Phoenix had earned its place in the A-League.

"I've been around this league for eight seasons," the former Melbourne Victory mentor said.

"I know the FFA are pretty happy with our performance and what we do and the fact we don't rely on any handouts.

"We're producing good players and our team are more competitive than ever... so we're not the sort of team you'd allow to leave this league. I think they want to build the league, not reduce it."