Kewell Won't Play In A-League, Says Manager

Sydney, Jul 4 : Socceroos midfielder Harry Kewell will not play in Australia's A-League, the manager for the former Liverpool and Leeds star said Monday. Bernie Mandic told a Melbourne radio station that Football Federation
kewell won t play in a league says manager -...
PTI 04 Jul 2011, 11:17:36 AM IST

Sydney, Jul 4 : Socceroos midfielder Harry Kewell will not play in Australia's A-League, the manager for the former Liverpool and Leeds star said Monday. Bernie Mandic told a Melbourne radio station that Football Federation Australia had rejected a deal that he and Kewell had proposed over gate revenues. 

Mandic said the 32-year-old Kewell, off contract with Turkish club Galatasaray, had agreed to terms in principle with both Melbourne Victory and Sydney, and was close to making a decision on where he would play, but it required FFA's approval.

Mandic said under the proposal Kewell, who has scored 16 goals for Australia in 54 matches, would have been used to "market and promote the sport in partnership with the FFA." "We offered them a better deal than we have offered the A-League clubs -- a 30-70 split of any additional gate revenue from the away games that Harry plays in," Mandic said.

"If there are no more people coming to the away games that Harry plays in, Harry gets nothing. Now this was not accepted by the FFA, which is fair enough." The FFA issued a statement later Monday saying the door might not be closed on Kewell playing in Australia.

"We are satisfied the offer of support by way of a marketing services agreement would be a responsible and prudent way to lift the profile and marketability of the A-League and complement any contract Harry may sign with an individual club," the FFA said. "The fact remains that Harry Kewell would be a fabulous acquisition for any club and would be a great boost for the competition."

Most A-League teams have been hit by falling attendance. North Queensland Fury folded in November from financial problems, reducing the league to 10 teams for next season, and several other clubs are reported to be in difficulty.

The prospective return of Kewell, one of Australia's highest-profile players, had generated interest across the country and would have made him easily the marquee player in the league after the departure of former Liverpool and England striker Robbie Fowler from Perth Glory.AP

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