Usain Bolt’s football dream in Australia looks set to be over, with the Jamaican excluded from Mariners training while negotiations over a contract continue.
The Central Coast Mariners reportedly tabled a meagre offer believed to be worth $150,000 and admitted on Tuesday there was unlikely to be an agreement unless a lucrative third-party deal could be found.
The Mariners said negotiations were ongoing with Bolt’s manager Ricky Simms – a day after head of the A-League Greg O’Rourke said the offer was “much, much less” than Bolt wanted, reportedly $3 million.
“To ensure that there is no distraction to the Hyundai A-League squad in preparing for this weekend’s match vs. Melbourne City; Usain Bolt will not attend team training this week, until and if, the Club and Usain Bolt can agree to terms and formalise an arrangement,” a club statement said.
” … Usain Bolt’s management and the Central Coast Mariners are in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties.
“Without the financial contribution of an external third party, it is unlikely that Usain Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners will agree to terms.”
However, the club has not given up entirely on signing the sprint king.
“Both parties are eager to explore all options and ensure that if there is a suitable way forward for both player and Club, the two parties will keep working together and formalise an agreement,” the statement added.
“The Central Coast Mariners want to ensure that Usain Bolt is given every chance possible to fulfill his dream to become a professional football player.”