Sydney FC chairman Andrew Kemeny has backed under pressure coach John Kosmina, saying the club's players must shoulder some blame for the side's poor season.
Kosmina's position is under increasing threat after the sky blues were beaten on Saturday by Adelaide 2-0 to all but end any hope the club had of making this year's A-League finals.
But Kemeny backed the former Socceroo, saying bad luck and poor performances had more to do with the club's plight.
"There's just no question about John's contract and I think it's time that the media stopped speculating on it. He'll be here next year," he said in a statement.
"I think he had a lot of handicaps, with an awful lot of players out injured to deal with, some players are not in form ... some players are leaving at the end of the season and perhaps they are not putting in 100 per cent."
"Yes, it's an ongoing discussion and he's doing his best."
Kemeny stopped short of naming the players involved but Iain Fyfe (Adelaide), Jacob Timpano and Robbie Middleby (North Queensland) are among those at the club who are moving on at season's end.
But with new owners David Traktovenko and Paul Ramsay taking over the club in March, it's unclear how much weight Kemeny's endorsement will carry.
Meanwhile Kosmina's predecessor Branko Culina has also thrown his weight behind the embattled coach, calling on Sydney to stick with their man.
Culina, who coached Sydney for nine games in 2007 before being dumped, said the club should allow Kosmina to see out his contract.
"What it really comes down to is if the club takes its time to choose the right people it has to stick by them through thick and thin," he told AAP.
"It's as simple as that. If you don't do that, how many changes are you going to have?
"Clubs should be a bit more responsible ... if it's a two-year deal, it's two years."
Sydney had gone through three coaches, including Culina, in as many years prior to Kosmina's appointment in October 2007.
After a bright start the pressure has mounted on Kosmina, Sydney winning just two games out of their last eight games to fall out of the finals race.
"People can judge John Kosmina, for right or wrong. He's been there a year and a half," Culina said.
"You name me one coach in the A-League who hasn't had a difficult time.
"It is difficult to run a successful organisation and plan for it if you are making those changes so frequently."
In other news, Sydney has agreed to enter a sister-club relationship with Chinese Super League powerhouse, Shanghai Shenhua.
Under the partnership the two clubs will meet in friendly matches in Shanghai and Sydney.
The agreement will also allow for exchanges of techniques and ideas in the areas of coaching as well player development.
The deal is the latest in several between A-league clubs and overseas teams.