The Central Coast Mariners have offered Usain Bolt a contract, but it is much less than what the former Sprint King requested.
The eight-time Olympic gold medalist has been on trial with A-League minnows Central Coast Mariners, recently scoring a brace in a warm-up game. Bolt was left out of the match-day squad for their A-League opener against Brisbane Roar on Sunday, where they drew 1-1 in Brisbane.
Reports suggest that Bolt and his management team requested in the region of $3 million contract, but the Mariners offered around $150 000.
A-League boss Greg O’Rourke shed more light on the situation.
“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 on Monday.
“That offer is much, much less than they 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 trialist, 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.”
The A-League has a marquee fund reserved for attracting big-name players to Australian shores, but O’Rourke confirmed that Bolt does not fit into this category.
“There’s no funding from the marquee fund, as we said from day one,” he continued.
“… 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.”
However, all is not lost for Bolt’s dream of professional football, as he can continue to trial with the Mariners indefinitely, according to a Mariners spokesperson.