Usain Bolt has exited Central Coast Mariners this week while the club desperately tries to find someone to help pay to keep him in Gosford.
The Mariners today admitted they had offered a holding contract to Bolt while he tries get himself match ready...but the deal had fallen far short of what the Jamaican sprint superstar wants.
The club admit Bolt is still not close to signing a football contract with the club yet and now admit they don't have the training facilities to develop him any more.
But they are keen to retain their option on him and want to sign a commercial business deal with him that ties him to the club while he undergoes more intensive training elsewhere.
However the money on offer is well short of Bolt's expectations and the club are now hoping they can find a white knight sponsor who will step in to make up the difference.
The FFA have already said they won't pitch in marquee fund money to help pay for him, but they may contribute some marketing budget to help promote the A-League.
In the meantime though, Bolt has stopped training with the club while the contract wrangling goes on.
"Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt’s representative Ricky Simms have progressed contract discussions and would like to offer clarity around the negotiations between the Club and Usain Bolt," the club said a statement this morning.
"The club can confirm a contract proposal has been offered by Central Coast Mariners and negotiations remain ongoing with Usain Bolt and his management regarding his football future.
"Both parties are eager to explore all options and ensure that if there is a suitable way forward for both player and Club, the two parties will keep working together and formalise an agreement.
"Central Coast Mariners want to ensure that Usain Bolt is given every chance possible to fulfill his dream to become a professional football player."
The statement added: "There are two main terms of discussion involved in this negotiation: football and commercial.
"Regarding the football terms of the negotiations, Usain has made great progression during his time on the Central Coast and we feel that he will improve further with more individual intensive training and competitive game time.
"We are looking at ways to do this as the club does not have the luxury to be able to do this in the Hyundai A-League.
"Regarding the commercial terms of the negotiations, Usain Bolt’s management and Central Coast Mariners are in conversations with external partners to find a commercial solution that suits all parties.
"It is important to note, that contract values speculated in the media are incorrect. Without the financial contribution of an external third-party, it is unlikely that Usain Bolt and Central Coast Mariners will agree to terms.
"To ensure that there is no distraction to the Hyundai A-League squad in preparing for this weekend’s match vs. Melbourne City; Usain Bolt will not attend team training this week, until and if, the club and Usain Bolt can agree to terms and formalise an arrangement.
"Central Coast Mariners will make no further comment on this matter until there is an update on the situation."