Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is allegedly owed more than $100,000 by the Terry Serepisos-owned club and has instructed lawyers, reports The Dominion Post. However, Serepisos denied the club owed Herbert $100,000 and refused to say whether it owed any money at all to the coach.

The property developer has been battling attempts to bankrupt him and has staunchly stood by his continued ownership of the Phoenix, where he says it is ''business as normal", and recently brushed aside concerns over late payments to his players, saying there was It has been estimated that Herbert is reportedly paid about $200,000 a year for coaching the A-League outfit.

It is understood five businessmen are positioning themselves to run the Phoenix should Serepisos fall, with Wellington City Council sports portfolio leader John Morrison telling The Dominion Post growing concern over Serepisos' financial position had led to the formulation of a back-up plan to ensure the survival of the club.

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