Manchester United ‘in talks to buy Australian team Central Coast Mariners’ – where Mike Phelan was sporting director in 2018 – as they look to follow Man City’s lead and build a portfolio of clubs around the world
- Manchester United are reportedly in talks to buy Central Coast Mariners
- The A-League owner has been in talks with United’s leaders about a sale
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s assistant Mike Phelan was the sporting director in 2018
- Reports say United could move the club to North Sydney
Manchester United have entered into talks to buy Central Coast Mariners and could move the A-League according to reports in Australia.
United has had lengthy talks with Australian side owner Mike Charlesworth about purchasing the club’s license in an effort to make it a sister club to the Red Devils.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, a deal has not yet been reached, but an agreement could result in the Mariners being uprooted from their Central Coast home and relocated 50 miles south to the suburbs of North Sydney, subject to Football Australia’s approval and the majority of the A-League parties.
Man United are reportedly in talks with Central Coast Mariners over a deal to buy the club
The A-League side is looking for investments with owner Mike Charlesworth eager to sell
United already has links with the Australian side, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s assistant coach Mike Phelan a sporting director at the Mariners in 2018. He spent five months in his role at the club.
The Mariners have been looking for investment for some time and have struggled continuously financially for the past few years. Charlesworth announced last August that he intended to sell his entire stake in the club.
Central Coast is a two-time A-League champion and has won the Grand Final once, but is best remembered of these shores for hosting Usain Bolt for ‘an indefinite training period’ in 2018.
United has reportedly been in talks with the club to expand their global portfolio
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s assistant Mike Phelan (left) was the sporting director of the Mariners in 2018
The latest development is an indication that United are looking to follow in the footsteps of local rivals Manchester City, who have developed a sizeable portfolio of member clubs around the world, including A-League side Melbourne City.
The Premier League side bought Melbourne Heart in 2014 as part of City Football Group’s global network, before being renamed. They also own New York City, Mumbai City and Montevideo City Torque.
City initially bought an 80 percent stake in the Melbourne club worth AUD $ 11 million (£ 6 million) and bought the remaining 20 percent for AUD $ 2.25 million (£ 1.25 million).
The Mariners are best remembered for hosting Usain Bolt for an ‘indefinite training period’
United is looking for a network of clubs in Asia that is recognized as a lucrative football market.
The Old Trafford side is hugely popular Down Under. They drew 83,000 spectators when they faced the A-League All Stars in Sydney in 2013. In 1999, the Premier League drew a combined crowd of 148,000 in two games at the MCG and Stadium Australia.
The Red Devils are valued at £ 3.05 billion by Forbes and were ranked by the magazine as the fourth most valuable club in the world with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich the only clubs worth more than United.
United wants to emulate rivals City, who have a global portfolio of clubs, including Melbourne City from the A-League (pictured)