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SBD Global/August 15, 2014/Franchises

A-League Side Central Coast Mariners' Future Unclear Despite Owner's Comments

A-League club Central Coast Mariners' future "remains shrouded in confusion," despite owner Mike Charlesworth saying "only 24 hours ago that he does not want to sell his majority stake," according to Tom Smithies of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Multiple sources indicated that Charlesworth, "having recently relocated" back to the U.K., "recently made clear his intention to sell the club." Charlesworth has held talks with clubs in England about "buying a stake in the Mariners, but privately said his preference was to sell his entire stake." The telecom millionaire has "only owned the club outright for 15 months but has spoken of his unhappiness at losing money." On Wednesday, he "reiterated his comments," insisting that he was "only seeking further minority shareholders in the football club, and also investors in the Mariners' Centre of Excellence development at Tuggerah." In terms of the football club, "which is run as a separate business," Charlesworth said, "I am inviting investment but have every intention of staying a part of this wonderful little club and as chairman and majority owner." Meanwhile "question marks remain over where" the Mariners will host Melbourne Victory on Dec. 5. Central Coast had "intended to play the game at North Sydney Oval," but broadcaster Fox Sports is "understood to have raised concerns about the quality of floodlighting and its effect on the broadcast." If the ground is "not upgraded in time, one option is to play the game at Brookvale in Manly" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 8/14).
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