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Central Coast Mariners Manchester United takeover report, latest, Adam Peacock column



Unless you believe in miracles, the Central Coast Mariners aren’t going anywhere soon.

Manchester United aren’t down the track with a potential takeover.

Sydney’s northern suburbs should not expect to see a pre-season game featuring Pogba v Nisbet in midfield, or Harry McGuire trying to cope with Matt Simon.

Everyone relax. It’s a nice thought. One of the biggest clubs in the world is potentially interested in the A League! It’s like hanging out at a pub with mates and a Victoria’s Secret model wants to chat, or Snapchat, or whatever the hell people do now.

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Talking to multiple sources this morning, there was a common theme: Mike Charlesworth really wants to sell the Mariners. He’s shopped the club around to whoever might listen in Europe.

But there’s a problem. These deals don’t happen through the media.

As one source put it “anyone who is serious about their business doesn’t do business like this”

Remember the City Football Group takeover of Melbourne Heart?

That’s how these things happen. By stealth. One day there were Melbourne Heart, battling away, day to day. Then all of a sudden the richest mob in all the world owned them.

Non-disclosure agreements (NDA’s) are key to all these deals. There hasn’t been one signed by anyone at the Mariners. No-one has asked to check the books.

Are the Mariners an attractive proposition? Yes, with the right terms.

Thanks to the work of Alen Stajcic and plenty of others at the Mariners, the club finds itself as stable as its ever been in the controversial Charlesworth era. Top of the league, but as importantly, young players are developing through their own system, thanks to a solid youth program and scouting the right youngsters from elsewhere (exhibit A; Kuol Alou).

The fact remains though the owner is desperate to sell. Move to Canberra. Move to Gold Coast. Move to Palm Beach in Sydney and have Alf Stewart run the joint. He doesn’t care. He just wants out.

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Sydney clubs will block any move to the harbour city, so you can rule that idea of a move to the northern suburbs out now. Canberra might be a possibility, especially if a prospective owner likes the idea of political ties. Or Gold Coast, if the new buyer likes the sun.

But hopefully there is some sort of emotional protection involved here. The people of the coast. Not the biggest fan base in the league, but as attached to their club as any.

If anything, this type of threat should mobilise the Central Coast locals to stick up for their club more. This season has shown there is something worth sticking up for. A group of fans are in the midst of setting up a Supporters Trust with a view to buying a percentage of the club, an idea Charlesworth is open to.

Sounds like he’s open to anything.

He’s happy to play along with any idea.

Careful though. Play with people’s emotions, and you lose them forever. It’s the last thing a fractured sport like football in Australia needs more of.

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Colombian side Aguilas forced to play with seven players due to Covid-19 outbreak



The owner of a Colombian football team forced to play a first division match with just seven players after a coronavirus outbreak in the camp, hit out at authorities on Monday.

Aguilas had 16 players unavailable after contracting Covid-19 while another seven were injured, meaning they could only field a team made up of seven players for Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Boyaca Chico.

“They should have accepted the request” to postpone the match, said Aguilas owner Fernando Salazar in an interview with W Radio.

“It hurts me that today we are subjected to derision and immersed in this situation that could have been avoided.”

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He said the club, from Rionegro in the northwest, had sent several requests to Dimayor, the Colombian football league, to postpone the match but they were rejected.

Dimayor president Fernando Jaramillo defended the decision.

“This rule comes from the International Football Association Board … a team must field a minimum of seven players,” Jaramillo told Caracol Radio.

IFAB is the body that determines the rules of association football. It merely states that a team cannot play with fewer than seven players but does not prevent governing bodies from postponing games if they have reason to do so.

Aguilas lined up with a reserve goalkeeper in defence but the match lasted only 80 minutes before another injury left them with just six players on the field, ending the game.

The defeat leaves Aguilas 17th in the 19-team top-flight with one game left. Jaramillo said the final round of fixtures would not be postponed either meaning Aguilas will likely have to play that too without a full quota of players.jss/ol/bc/iwd

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Man Utd fall behind Bayern Munich but stay ahead of Liverpool on football's rich list



Manchester United are one of many clubs to have been hit hard by the financial impact of the pandemic.

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