Former sprint king Usain Bolt’s dream of securing a professional contract with Australia A-League club Central Coast Mariners has suffered a major blow after Football Federation Australia (FFA) declined to assist with the player’s wages.
The 32-year-old Bolt has been training with the Mariners for the last two months, having joined the club for an indefinite trial period.
The Jamaican hopes to eventually secure a contract but a part of the initial deal had reportedly been dependent on input from the FFA.
The club had hoped to secure an amount believed to be in the region of US$ 641,664 to help secure the deal, should Bolt make it past the trial period. The FFA provides the marquee player fund as a way to subside the costs for clubs when signing high profile players. The organisation has, however, declined to allow Central Coast to use the fund to help sign the Jamaican.
In reacting to the latest development, the club has claimed it will be business as usual with the player’s trial period but will certainly have to find creative ways to bridge the shortfall, should they be interested in the player.
Bolt, who could perceivably play for less, recently turned down a two-year deal with Maltese club Valletta C but is said to have other offers on the table. (SportsMax)