Author: Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd

Lower than expected offer from Australian side

Usain Bolt is considering his options after being offered a professional contract with Australian club Coast Central Mariners.

With the offer being leaked on Sunday and the former sprint king absent from the Mariners opening game of the season, the ball is in Bolt’s court as to whether he will sign.

A-League chief Greg O’Rourke confirmed today (Monday) that a deal had been tabled, but admitted that it was much lower than the 32-year-old Jamaica had expected.

Bolt now has to weigh up whether he will accept this deal to fulfil his footballing dream, after it was revealed that the Football Federation Australia (FFA) are unwilling to funding Bolt’s contract despite his huge marketability.

O’Rourke explained: “There’s nothing on the table in writing from FFA nor funding from the marquee fund, as we’ve said from day one.

“The marquee fund has secured players like [Melbourne Victory attacker] Keisuke Honda and [W-League star] Sam Kerr – people with football pedigree. Bolt has yet to become a professional footballer anywhere in the world.

“I understand from Central Coast Mariners that they have tabled an offer to Bolt’s management, which he is currently considering.

“That offer is much, much less than what they were originally requesting. If Usain wants to join that club and become a professional footballer then he should follow a journey pretty similar to other trialists.

“There were some marketing conversations about contributions towards attendances, appearances fees if you like.

“In terms of funding him as a footballer, FFA has been consistent that they won’t fund him as a footballer. It won’t change.

“Football purists would say if you have some money to invest, we don’t think you should put it into a trialist like Usain.”
Former Australia manager, Ange Postecoglou, who coached the national team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals claims that Bolt has little chance of making it as a professional even with the smallest club in the A-League.

He said: “I’ve always believed that football is one of those sports that’s very, very difficult to just change from one to the other.”

A professional contract for the world’s fastest man would mean an inclusion in FIFA 19 – one of the biggest video game franchises.

Should Bolt sign a permanent deal with the Mariners it will mean that the Jamaican legend will be included in the November update of the game. Yet if things don’t work out, it’s been rumoured that EA Sports, the game’s makers, will still include Bolt on their game as a free agent.

And he always has the opportunity to make a U-turn and take up the lucrative offer from Maltese champions Valletta FC that he rejected last week.

Valletta FC are bankrolled by their new investors from cash rich Abu Dhabi, who are aiming to make the Malta club a force to be reckoned with by making stellar signings. And Bolt would be star on the small Mediterranean island.

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Lower than expected offer from Australian side Usain Bolt is considering his options after being offered a professional contract with Australian club Coast Central Mariners. With the offer being leaked on Sunday and the former sprint king absent from the Mariners opening game of the season, the ball is in Bolt's...

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