Gym guru Peil buys into ALM's Mariners

·2-min read

Just days after confirming a spot in this year's A-League Men's finals, Central Coast have a new majority shareholder with Anytime Fitness co-founder Richard Peil buying into the Mariners.

Peil has joined the Mariners board and the Mariners Academy as a director and is set to be appointed chairman, pending approval by Football Australia and the Australian Professional Leagues.

Once the approvals are completed, current owner Mike Charlesworth will resign as director on the board.

The English businessman, who saved the club in 2013 before the Mariners won that season's grand final, has been looking for a new investor since August 2020.

Charlesworth's decision came after the Mariners claimed four wooden spoons in five seasons but they've since reached the finals in the past two seasons, firstly under Alen Stajcic and then with ex-player Nick Montgomery at the helm this campaign.

Peil said he was hopeful of building upon the platform built in the past two years at the Gosford-based club.

"We'll never be the highest spending team but we're definitely going to be spending more money," he said.

"I like being the underdog and I think that tag suits us at the Central Coast but we need to put more resources into the players, we need to put more resources into the coaching staff, we need to put more resources into the sports science department.

"There are many, many passionate people at this club and I just want to put my bit of passion into their passion and see what we can create together."

Charlesworth, who will retain ownership of the Mariners' Centre of Excellence, was confident he was leaving the Mariners in good hands.

"It has taken a long time to find the right investor for the Central Coast Mariners and I'm convinced Rich is the perfect fit," he said.

"Rich has an excellent track record in the sports industry through his company, Anytime Fitness, and that experience will only help our club grow.

"Richard's energy is infectious and it's great that football runs through his veins. The focus of the club for many years was unashamedly survival, but with a great team of people both on and off the pitch, I'm sure Richard can build on the growth we've seen these last couple of years."

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