Usain Bolt’s trial with Australian football club Central Coast Mariners has come to an end.
The Jamaican eight-time Olympic sprint champion joined the A-League side for an “indefinite training period” in August.
He scored two goals in his first effort for the Mariners in a friendly but did not play matches when the season began.
Efforts to secure a “commercial solution” to keep Bolt at the club had failed, the Mariners said on Friday.
Last month, the Mariners said they had made a contract proposal broken down into “football” and “commercial” terms. However, it hinged on a contribution from a “third party”.
Despite meetings with “several promising potential partners” no deal could be reached, the club said.
Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth thanked Bolt for his eight-week trial, describing it as a success.
“Despite the fact that we could not come to an agreement that would continue Usain Bolt’s football journey with the Central Coast Mariners, we’ve been thrilled to have the Olympic champion sprinter and world record holder as part of our Club for these past eight weeks,” Charlesworth said in a statement.
“For the Mariners, it’s been a pleasure to work with Usain as he pursued his desire to become a professional football player.
“This has been a mutually beneficial partnership that brought an increased level of excitement and attention to both the Mariners and the Hyundai A-League. From day one, Usain dedicated himself to being part of the Mariners. He integrated very well into the team and made great strides as a footballer.
“Most notable, was his performance in Campbelltown where he scored two goals helping the Mariners secure a 4-0 win against Macarthur South West United.
“Whilst we understand that Usain will not be part of the Club going forward, the Central Coast Mariners wish him all the best in his future endeavours and we hope that opportunities arise to collaborate in other capacities in the future.”
The 100m and 200m world record holder has described it as his “dream” to play professional football.
“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,” he said on Friday.
Bolt, who retired from athletics in 2017, has previously trained with Borussia Dortmund, South African club Mamelodi Sundowns and Norway’s Stromsgodset.