CMC:– Usain Bolt’s dream of becoming a professional footballer has been put on hold after the eight-time Olympic gold medallist and Australian A-League outfit Central Coast Mariners parted ways.
The decision was made after Bolt’s representatives were unable to find a suitable commercial partner to supplement a prospective contract, the Mariners said in a statement Thursday.
According to reports, the 32-year-old was seeking an annual salary of $3 million, but the offer on the table was apparently set at $150,000 per year.
And while the Australian Football Association was prepared to help the Mariners fund a deal, the total proposal ultimately fell short. In a short statement, the Olympic record holder in the 100 and 200 metres events thanked the Mariners for the opportunity.
“I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players, and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there,” Bolt said. “I wish the club success for the season ahead.”
The latest development was not a surprise, however, as Mariners’ coach Mike Mulvey had hinted earlier this month that Bolt would have had a difficult task breaking into the side.
“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 asked at the time. “I do appreciate how important this story is for the rest of the world.”
During his negotiations with the club, Bolt turned down a two-year offer from Maltese outfit Valletta FC.