Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou said the Central Coast Mariners' fiscal crisis was that clubs needed to put financial certainty ahead of expansion.
Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou said the Central Coast Mariners' fiscal crisis was a reminder the Hyundai A-League and its clubs needed to put financial certainty ahead of innovation and expansion.
The Mariners are under financial pressure and are relying on a $5m cash injection from Telecoms millionaire Mike Charlesworth to pay monthly players' wages due last Friday.
Charlesworth, who became a director three years ago, on Thursday night agreed a deal to pump the new money into the club and become the majority owner in the process.
It's believed Charlesworth has pledged to clear the club's multi-million-dollar debt to the Australian Tax Office over unpaid tax and super, and will immediately pay the salaries of staff and players.
"It should never have gotten to that point and it is a stark indicator that in sporting terms we are still taking baby steps to where we want to be," Postecoglou said.
"We have a fantastic A-League season this year. We should never get away from the fact we are only eight years old.
"But until we consolidate our position in the Australian sporting landscape we shouldn't really be thinking about moving too adventurously in any direction.
"What happened with the Mariners and their players this week is a further indicator of that."
Postecoglou said he felt for the Mariners players and said steps should be taken to ensure clubs were independently viable.
"This next four-year cycle, with the TV deal that has just been signed, should be about consolidation and making sure people who choose this as their profession and protected in every possible way and clubs are given every opportunity to build some solid foundations for the future," he said.
He said, despite the Mariners' woes, the competition had enjoyed a successful season overall and was on the brink of a fascinating finals campaign.
"It's been a fantastic A-League season so far. A lot of positives, in fact mostly positives and very few negatives," Postecoglou said.
Melbourne Victory can consolidate third spot on the table when they meet Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Saturday.
Victory have already won the first two clashes between them this season but will be without Socceroos Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan and New Zealand international Marco Rojas, plus the injured Adama Traore.