O'Donovan's six-figure reason to leave Mariners

Roy O'Donovan will earn at least $100,000 per season more by leaving Central Coast Mariners for one of the other four A-League clubs chasing him.

Roy O'Donovan

Roy O'Donovan is set for a big pay increase should he leave Central Coast Mariners Source: Getty Images

The Mariners have offered the Irish striker nearly double what he is currently on, but The World Game has learned that is still way out of the ball-park of what he can earn elsewhere.

There was speculation late on Friday that O'Donovan had signed with Newcastle, which both his manager, Paddy Dominguez, and the Jets denied.

While he may well end up going to Newcastle, Dominguez is adamant O'Donovan hasn't committed himself anywhere yet and the negotiation process hasn't ended.


The World Game understands offers from Newcastle, Brisbane Roar, Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United are all fairly similar financially.

In a two-year deal, he would earn over $200,000 more than he would get by staying at Central Coast.

But it is still possible one of those four clubs in the hunt could dramatically up their offer in an attempt to blow the others away at the last minute.

O'Donovan didn't join the Mariners on what could be called huge money.

The former Premier League player was looking for an opportunity, after playing in Singapore and Indonesia, and he has made the most of it, scoring 18 goals in 41 games across two seasons in a struggling side.

Asked when a decision from O'Donovan was likely, Dominguez told The World Game: "I would say a week or two. It could be next week, or the week after.

"I think it's fairly imminent. Players generally like to get things settled in their minds after they've been negotiating for a reasonable amount of time.

"But Roy would have the final say on that."

It could develop into a shoot-out for the 31-year-old if one of the clubs ups their bid in the final stages.

And Dominguez said he wouldn't rule out the Mariners getting back into it at the last minute.

"They may still come back and make him a better offer," he said.

But that would be a stunning turnaround at the death, from Central Coast, on what looks like a bridge too far for them.

Dominguez was adamant the talk that O'Donovan had already signed with the Jets was off the mark.

"I can categorically say Roy hasn't signed for anyone," he said.

"We're still talking to several interested parties."

The Mariners wouldn't begrudge O'Donovan, who has a young family, accepting a substantially bigger offer elsewhere as he approaches the veteran stage of his career.

Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said the club had to make decisions aimed at strengthening the team overall.

"The easiest thing for the club to do right now would be to panic and react and we would make the same mistakes that have been made the last couple of seasons," Mielekamp said.

"What is important for us is that the coach has got a clear picture of what he needs to do for next season.

"We know we are going to spend more money next year than this year and we have to be smart about it. Strategically, we'll increase our spend, but exactly how big that increase is we won't know until the TV deal is clear and we can do our full budgets."

The Mariners will be fighting to avoid falling into last place when they Adelaide United at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday night. The bottom-placed Reds are just two points behind them.

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4 min read
Published 25 March 2017 at 3:50pm
By Greg Prichard