Central Coast Mariners are in damage control after administrators announced the club’s immediate financial security was in jeopardy due to ‘an incredibly large Uber fare.’
Issuing a press release to journalists Saturday morning, the club explained that a member of the club’s coaching staff caught an Uber back to his home in Wyong after ringing in the new year with family in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. The unnamed staff member allegedly did not notice the Uber ‘surge charge’ fare adjustment – which increases the price of fares during periods of peak demand – which led to a fare which was 126,869 times higher than normal. It was also revealed the coach had used his club credit card by mistake, leaving the bill squarely at the foot of the Gosford club.
The statement did not announce the exact amount of the fare, but sources close to the club told FMF it was ‘in six figures’.
Central Coast Mariners is known for running on a shoestring budget, so the rogue fare could have far-reaching implications for the club.
“This is the last thing the club needed,” one of the sources said. “We’ll be working closely with Football Federation Australia to see what our options are, but at this stage the outlook is pretty bleak; it’s not like the coach can pay the money back.
“We’re devastated for the fans; Tony Walmsley had big marquee plans for the January transfer window, so we’re very upset we won’t be able to bring the players to the club we wanted to.”
A spokesman for Football Federation Australia told FMF they’ll be monitoring the situation closely, but with the organisation already shouldering the financial burden of one A-League club, they’d be loathe to bring on another.