News People For love or money? Usain Bolt offered A-League contract

For love or money? Usain Bolt offered A-League contract

Usain Bolt has been offered an A-League contract but is only a fraction of what his management was requesting. Photo: Getty
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Central Coast Mariners have offered Usain Bolt a contract for “much, much less” than what the Olympic great’s camp requested, the head of the A-League says.

A-League boss Greg O’Rourke says Bolt, 32, is considering the Mariners’ offer.

“I understand from Central Coast Mariners that they have tabled an offer to Usain Bolt’s management, which he is considering,” O’Rourke told SEN radio.

“That offer is much, much less than [the Bolt camp] were originally requesting.

“And that’s really reflected that if Usain wants to join the club and become a footballer, he should follow a journey pretty similar to any triallist, not withstanding for a minute the amount of marketing that somebody like Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, can bring to the Central Coast and the broader A-League.”

Bolt’s camp had reportedly asked for a deal of around $3 million, but the Mariners’ offer was reportedly in the vicinity of $150,000.

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist has been on trial at Central Coast for two months.

O’Rourke reiterated that Football Federation Australia wouldn’t dip into its marquee fund for any Bolt deal.

“There’s no funding from the marquee fund, as we said from day one,” O’Rourke said.

“…the marquee fund has secured people like Keisuke Honda and Sam Kerr with football pedigree and Usain Bolt has yet to become a professional footballer anywhere in the world.”

But O’Rourke said marketing components had been discussed with Bolt’s potential contract.

“There were some marketing conversations about contributions towards attendances at games, appearance fees if you like,” O’Rourke said.

“But as for funding him as a footballer, then the FFA has been consistent in that they won’t fund him. That won’t change.”

The Mariners on Monday remained tight-lipped, refusing to confirm the club had made an offer to the Jamaican.

A Mariners spokesman would only say Bolt’s indefinite training period at the club remained in place and negotiations were ongoing.

Bolt didn’t travel to Brisbane on Sunday when the Mariners drew 1-1 with Brisbane Roar in their A-League season opener.

Reports of the contract offer to Bolt emerged midway through the game, but Mariners coach Mike Mulvey said after the game he was unaware of the development, adding that he felt Bolt would struggle to break into the Mariners’ starting line-up.

“You have a look at our front line today and you wonder whether he could get into any of those positions. Wouldn’t you?” Mulvey said.

“You’re just talking about speculation. I don’t know anything about what you’re talking about and that’s the God’s honest truth.”