Sun | Jan 24, 2021

Mariners outline Usain Bolt doubts

Published:Monday | October 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Usain Bolt warms up before a friendly trial match between the Central Coast Mariners and the Central Coast Select in Gosford, Australia, on Friday, August 31, 2018.

Although he has been offered a contract, Usain Bolt's future with Australian A-League team Central Coast Mariners has been cast into doubt, after the club confirmed that no agreement has been found and that the sprinting great will not train with the team until a deal has been struck. 

The Mariners added that they are seeking external sponsorship to meet the commercial demands and warned that it is unlikely that an agreement will be realised unless a partner comes on board to foot some of the unspecified bill.

Bolt's long-time manager Ricky Simms told journalists a couple days ago that a contract was offered by the Aussie outfit and even though team manager Mike Mulvey said at the time that he was not aware of this, the club itself has moved to clarify the situation. 

"The Club can confirm that a contract proposal has been offered by the Central Coast Mariners and negotiations remain ongoing with Usain Bolt and his management regarding his football future," the Mariners said.

The club stated that discussions around technical and commercial aspects will continue and that several negotiations with external partners are being pursued with a view of meeting the financial needs of both parties. 

Bolt, the Mariners stated, has made significant technical improvements, but will continue to develop with individual, specialised training and competitive game time, which they point out, cannot be given at this time in the A-League. 

"Regarding the football terms of the negotiations, Usain has made great progression during his time on the Central Coast and we feel that he will improve further with more individual intensive training and competitive game time. We are looking at ways to do this as the Club does not have the luxury to be able to do this in the Hyundai A-League."

"Regarding the commercial terms of the negotiations, Usain Bolt’s management and the Central Coast Mariners are in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties. It is important to note, that contract values speculated in the media are incorrect. Without the financial contribution of an external third-party, it is unlikely that Usain Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners will agree to terms," the Mariners stated.

The release further notes that in an effort to limit any possible distraction, Bolt will not train with the squad this week or until an agreement is reached.  

"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."

Bolt, who retired from athletics after last year's World Championships is London, is looking to start a new career as a professional footballer and has been on trials and shared training sessions with a number of clubs across the world. 

He recently turned down an offer from Maltese Premier League champions Valletta.