|By DAMIEN SOUNESS
The Central Coast Mariners have opened talks with two Asian investment groups interested in buying a share in the A-League club and their Centre of Excellence.
The two groups will visit the Mariners' Gosford base in the coming weeks after reviewing a detailed information memorandum on the club.
The talks have renewed hopes that the cash-strapped club can broaden their capital base with much-needed financial clout.
"This is exciting juncture in the club's short, yet proud history," Mariners chairman Peter Turnbull said.
"We are currently top of the A-League and National Youth League and we are the reigning premiers in each competition.
"The Mariners will this year compete in the Asian Champions League for the third time and is on track to do so again in 2014.
"The on-field success is underpinned by the club's unique, innovative Centre of Excellence complex, which is well underway.
"The Tuggerah facility is now home to the Mariners' entire football department and has a thriving community facility in the Soccer5s complex, which is open and doing an excellent trade."
When completed, the Centre of Excellence will include a 130-room hotel, licensed clubhouse, office tower and aquatic centre, in addition to the training facilities, football administration block and leisure amenities launched last year.
Should the deal ultimately come off, the Mariners will join Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC as clubs either partly or fully owned by overseas investors.