Deal breaker - Bolt unlikely to sign deal with Mariners after US$3 million request isn't met
SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):
Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt is unlikely to sign a contract with Australian A-League outfit, the Central Coast Mariners.
According to reports, while Bolt's agent Ricky Simms has requested a salary in the region of US$3 million, an offer made to Bolt earlier this week was only in the region of US$150,000.
Bolt has since been excluded from team practice with the Mariners.
"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," the Mariners said in a statement, Tuesday.
The statement confirmed that a third-party commercial partner would be required for both parties to agree to terms as FFA [Football Federation Australia] stands firm in its refusal to dip into the marquee fund.
However, according to sources, Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth is keen on seeing a deal struck between the two parties.
The British entrepreneur flew to Australia last month to watch Bolt's 20-minute debut on the Central Coast, and despite an underwhelming first outing from the Jamaican superstar, Charlesworth seemed more than convinced by the hype in the stands.
"I don't know if anyone could tell me a Central Coast player who has ever sold almost 10,000 tickets before," Charlesworth told the Daily Telegraph at the time.
"I mean, what effect has Keisuke Honda made on ticket sales with Melbourne Victory? So while this is a risk, it's a calculated risk"
The news comes one week after the 32-year-old Bolt turned down Valletta FC's two-year offer after deciding against a move to Malta.