Central Coast Mariners are being pursued by two Asian clubs seeking to buy a percentage of the A-League leading team and their $70 million ‘Centre of Excellence.
The club announced that Asian football investment groups would soon be visiting their base, built to maintain the club's on field success. If successful, the Mariners will become the third A-League club owned by overseas interests.
A deal would ensure the Mariners have the financial support to not only finish the state-of-the-art complex at Tuggerah, but also grow the game of football in the rugby crazed state of New South Wales.
Mariners chairman Peter Turnbull has been after investors for some time and had been negotiating with a Russian consortium for roughly a year. In April, Turnbull denied he was handing back the Mariners’ A-League licence to Football Federation Australia.
"This is an exciting juncture in the club's short, yet proud history," said Turnbull.
" … (and) Mariners FC are currently assessing a range of additional investment options."
The Tuggerah centre opened in 2012 and the Mariners enjoyed their first preseason at the venue prior to the 2012-13 season. In addition to the football amenities already established at the location, the Mariners are adding a 130-room hotel, licenced clubhouse, six-storey office tower and an additional aquatic centre to supplement the training facilities.
Despite their on field success the Mariners have traditionally struggled financially. Players Mustafa Amini (Germany), Matt Simon and Rostyn Girffiths (Asia) and talented, young international prospect Tom Rogic (Celtic) were recently sold to overseas clubs while others, striker Berinie Ibini (Club Brugge, Belgium) and goalkeeper Matt Ryan (England), are also on the radar of European teams.
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