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Knott criticises Phoenix environment

Phillip Rollo

Wellington Phoenix midfielder Chloe Knott says financial struggles were not the only factor behind her shock decision to quit the A-League Women six games into the new season.

The Phoenix announced on Thursday that Knott, the team’s vice-captain, had been granted an immediate release from her contract because it was no longer sustainable for her while juggling a fulltime job outside of football.

Knott was quoted in the club’s press release, but she issued a statement of her own a few hours later which shed further light on her exit.

Although Knott was struggling to make ends meet while paying for a mortgage in Auckland and rent in Wellington, she said financial struggles were only one factor.

Knott was a foundation member of the Phoenix women’s team and has featured in every one of their 38 matches.

Despite the massive strides the team has made on the field, Knott was scathing of her experience in the current environment and said it was no longer a place where she felt fulfilled.

“After being here for the start of this season, it’s become clear my values no longer align with the club or current management,” she said.

“It is important for me to be in an environment that prioritises honesty, authenticity and a genuine care for every individual and their development on and off the field.

“I want to work in an environment where all employees feel valued and respected at all ages and in every phase of their career, where their commitment and sacrifice is understood and appreciated, without needing to ask for it first.

“It’s not good enough to wait until something drastic happens for changes to be made.”

Stuff contacted Knott for further comment but she did not reply.

The Phoenix declined to respond directly to Knott’s statement out of their admiration for the player, but said they respected her opinion and would continue to work to champion the women’s team, which included fighting for better pay.





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