Eight-time gold medalist Usain Bolt has ended his experiment with Australian club Central Coast Mariners.
Bolt's representatives were unable to find a suitable commercial partner to supplement a prospective contract, the Mariners said in a statement Thursday.
The 32-year-old was seeking an annual salary of $3 million, according to The Sydney Morning Herald's Vince Rugari, but the offer on the table was apparently set at $150,000 per year.
The Australian Football Association was prepared to help the Mariners fund a deal, but the total proposal ultimately fell short.
"I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players, and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there," Bolt said. "I wish the club success for the season ahead."
The former Olympic sprinter, who scored two goals during his short time with the Mariners, had agreed to sit out training while discussing his future. The A-League side expedited contract talks after Bolt received a two-year offer from Maltese outfit Valletta FC.
However, Mariners coach Mike Mulvey made it clear in late October that Bolt would get few opportunities in the A-League.
"You have a look at our front line today and you wonder whether he could get into any of those positions, wouldn't you?” Mulvey said. "I do appreciate how important this story is for the rest of the world."
Many questioned whether the addition of Bolt was anything more than a publicity stunt.
Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth made no secret of his impact Thursday, saying their partnership was "mutually beneficial" and one "that brought an increased level of excitement and attention to the Mariners and the Hyundai A-League."
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