Harry Kewell’s A-League move is in doubt after the Socceroo’s agent Bernie Mandic revealed negotiations with the FFA had broken down.Mandic told radio station SEN on Monday that Kewell had agreed in principle to terms with both Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC and had been close to making a decision on his destination.
But the 32-year-old’s move is now in jeopardy after subsequent negotiations with the FFA broke down, with the Kewell camp’s request for a percentage of increased profit from away matches the sticking point.
Mandic also cricitised corporate affairs manager Kyle Patterson for ‘misleading’ comments on the negotiations with Kewell over the weekend.
With A-League clubs restricted by the confines of the salary cap, the FFA’s complementary package to make Kewell the face of the competition is integral to the former Leeds United and Liverpool forward’s move to Australia.
“The catalyst for this was some misleading comments from FFA’s Kyle Patterson over the weekend regarding our negotiations with the FFA,” Mandic said.
“The long and the short of it is that at no point in time have we spoken with Mr Patterson about anything related to Harry coming back to Australia. “
“But, more importantly, as has been the case with all A-League clubs, we have never asked the FFA for any guaranteed income for Harry.”
“The FFA offered to assist in bringing Harry back to play in Australia and asked what it would cost to use Harry 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.”
“If there are no more people coming to the away games that Harry plays in, Harry gets nothing.”
“But he is still happy to market and promote the sport.”
“Now this was not accepted by the FFA, which is fair enough. But it’s disappointing then that a story gets placed in a paper.”
Mandic said Kewell was still ‘happy to play in the A-League’, and intimated that the ball remained in the FFA’s court.
“The most disappointing part of it is that we have actually just come to agreement both with Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory in principle and were in the final stages of Harry choosing his Australian destination,” he said.
“From our end, nothing has changed.”
“Harry is happy to play in the A-League but he will not doing it for any financial guarantees, whether from the FFA or anybody else. Hopefully this can happen down the track – if not this year, then next year or the year after.”