Mariners pledge to splash Ryan dividend on new signings

Central Coast Mariners bosses have vowed to fund the acquisition of at least four experienced players to re-vitalise the club on the back of a $900,000 sell-on windfall from the transfer of Mat Ryan.


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Bestowed with the dubious honour of the A-League wooden spoon with four regular season rounds remaining, Mariners management insist the club will rebound from the slump it had to have in order to balance the books and avoid sliding into insolvency.

Had it not been for the $10 million sale of Australia goalkeeper Ryan from Club Brugge to Valencia seven months back, the Mariners would be been in the red to the tune of around $700,000.

But, instead they reaped the benefits of inserting a clause into his contract which guaranteed them 10 per cent of any future transfer fee when he headed to Belgium in 2013.

The club is now committed to releasing significant funds to bring in the quality players it will need to resurface as a credible A-League force once again.

“Now that we have stabilised financially we have some money in the kitty to bring in some decent players in the off-season," said executive vice chairman Peter Storrie. "That’s our main priority at the moment.

“When you look at what’s happening with the Newcastle Jets, which the FFA is having trouble selling (and continue to fund), the worst thing for us would have been to have another awful year financially and then you have a problem there as well.

“But we have stabilised the business, and that was vital. Now we can move forward on the playing front. It needed a 12-month period to rebuild the club and I am pleased to say we have done that (off the field).

“We've had to play a lot of young kids too early but they will learn from that. Now we can bring in four or so experienced players and that will make us far stronger next year.

“We need a good centre-half, an attacking midfielder and two utility type players.

"It will a much better year for the supporters next year – there's no doubt about it. We want to get some of these deals done ASAP.”

Owner Mike Charlesworth echoed those sentiments, declaring that the two-time premiers and 2013 A-League champions will rise again.

“We have to find some players to make ourselves competitive next season … there’s no hiding from that,”  said Charlesworth, who gave coach Tony Walmsley a license to entertain ahead of grinding out results at the start of the season.

Sadly for the Mariners. other than a few brief highlights, they have fallen short in both departments - winning just three of 23 games thus far and acquiring just 12 points, to go with an A-League-high nine red cards.

Some brutal numbers for the Central Coast Mariners- 10pts off 9th- 52 goals conceded in 22 matches- 5,032 in attendance - their second lowest of the season Posted by SBS The World Game on Sunday, 6 March 2016

Referring a player clear-out during the year, Storrie added: “We had players on hefty contracts who weren’t playing an overall it’s been a tough year in terms of results but it's given us a clean sheer to start again. That’s the good news."

Charlesworth added: “The season is over and it’s been disappointing. We are committed to making ourselves hugely competive next year. We certainly don't want to be where we are now again.

“That’s not good for us or the supporters. I am convinced we will be far stronger. We just need the right acquisitions to bend with the youngsters and we will be on the right path again.

“We have put a lot of youth players on the field together this year and that’s proved a struggle … a lack experience has been crucial really."

However it seems debatable whether marquee attacking midfielder Luis Garcia will be in Gosford next season, with the cost of extending his short-term deal likely to prove prohibitive.

But Charlesworth hasn’t ruled out the prospect of a marquee signing of some form, or indeed keeping Garcia, adding: “We will look at it for sure … we are open-minded to everything.”

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4 min read
Published 17 March 2016 at 7:42pm
By David Lewis