The Central Coast Mariners have moved to clear up confusion regarding Usain Bolt’s contract, revealing any potential deal will rely on a financial contribution from a third party.
Reports circulated over the weekend suggesting the Mariners had already offered the sprint champion a contract, but on money well below what Bolt’s camp had been requesting.
In a statement released this morning, the Mariners said they had offered Bolt a contract proposal but that salary remains a substantial obstacle to a deal being reached.
“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,” the Mariners statement said.
“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.”
Bolt has been on trial with the Mariners for two months, during which time the club says he has made a “great progression”.
But the Mariners also stressed Bolt needed “individual intensive training and competitive game time” in order to improve to a professional standard.
“The club does not have the luxury to be able to do this in the A-League,” the statement said.
Bolt will not be training with the A-League squad until he signs a contract with the club. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)
This latest update puts Bolt’s future with the Mariners and the A-League in serious doubt, with the requirement of extra payment coming from a third-party suggesting Bolt’s camp is not keen to accept a lowballed figure to stay on the Central Coast.
Complicating matters further, A-League boss Greg O’Rourke said on Monday that the FFA would not be dipping into its marquee fund to provide Bolt with extra cash.
The Mariners said Bolt would not be training with the squad this week to “ensure there is no distraction”.