The Central Coast Mariners have been engulfed in financial troubles, with staff and players reportedly waiting on wages. A Melbourne consortium has been linked with a takeover
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
The future of the Central Coast Mariners may include the relocation of matches to Victoria, as the A-League club's financial turmoil drags on.
Despite coach Graham Arnold insisting on Thursday that the club was focused on meeting Adelaide United on Sunday, the fate of the Mariners continues to be shrouded in doubt.
The Australian has reported players and staff are still waiting on wages after their monthly salaries went unpaid five days ago.
And with the Gosford-based club seeking investment for some time, The World Game has now claimed an AU$4 million deal has been agreed to sell the club to a Melbourne-based consortium with links to former National Soccer League heavyweights South Melbourne.
The deal would reportedly see the Mariners play up to four matches in Melbourne, with Football Federation Australia yet to sign off on the deal but having indicated their approval.
Mariners' staff and players made their feelings clear through the Professional Footballers Australia [PFA] on Thursday.
"The players have suffered enough. Once again they are being forced to subsidize poor governance and management of the game," chairman John Poulakakis said in a statement endorsed by the Mariners staff and players.
"The players' basic entitlements have been trampled on. Whatever is creating this delay must be addressed immediately. It's time for certainty and the FFA and the club's directors to do the right thing by the players and the fans."
Via club statement, Arnold said it had "been a tough week for the players", but backed them to brush off the drama for the match against Adelaide.
He said chairman Peter Turnbull and board member Mike Charlesworth had spoken to the players.
"There has to be a resolution and I am pretty sure that it will be sorted out quite quickly," he said."There's no hiding the fact Peter Turnbull has publicly asked before for new investment in the ownership. It's probably come to the stage now where something has to happen."