Phoenix 'disappointed' to lose Roy Krishna despite record offer and plans for scholarship in his honour

Source: 1News

The Wellington Phoenix have lost nine players since the season ended, but the confirmed departure of star striker Roy Krishna has hit the club harder than others.

Roy Krishna

Krishna announced yesterday he was leaving the Kiwi club and the A-League to pursue options elsewhere.

The 31-year-old settled on that decision despite a huge pitch from the Phoenix to stay, which club general manager David Dome said included the club's biggest ever offer and a scholarship for aspiring Pacific players named after him.

"Obviously we can't talk absolute numbers because that wouldn't be fair on Roy...but let's just say it was the largest offer that we've ever put to a player," Dome told Radio Sport.

"We didn't want to go into negotiations with Roy not putting our best foot forward. We certainly expected he would be hugely in demand not only in the A-League but overseas as well and that's obviously what's come through."

Krishna emerged as the Phoenix's star player after he finished the season with 19 goals in 27 appearances, leading him to win the Johnny Warren Medal as the best player in the competition along with the Player of the Year, Players' Player of the Year and the club's 'Golden Boot' at the Phoenix's awards dinner.

There were rumours at least three other A-League clubs had made offers to Krishna but Dome was confident they weren't the competition to worry about.

"We know for a fact that we were significantly higher than any other A-League club who was in negotiations with him, so we weren't going to lose out to another A-League club."

Dome added they tried to sweeten the deal with the Fijian striker by creating a scholarship to assist other promising Pacific footballers.

"He's obviously keen on helping players from the islands and we were talking to him about that. We were keen on starting up a Roy Krishna scholarship for a player out of the islands which I think we will definitely look at in time as well," Dome said.

"Given Roy's age and where he's at in his career, we totally understand why he has to look after his family as his number one priority. While we're extremely disappointed in losing him, he goes with our blessing."

Krishna confirmed in his departure announcement yesterday he was leaving the A-League but didn't hint at where he was off to next, although a report from Australian football reporter Ray Gatt suggests it is in South Korea.

"[Krishna] hasn't told us where he's going [but] he has informed us that it's not going to be in the A-League and that it was a significant offer, way in excess of what we could offer him," Dome added.

"We think it's in Asia but he hasn't confirmed that to us."