Sheffield Utd announce partnership with Aussie champs Central Coast Mariners
The English Championship challengers, who head a worldwide network of football clubs that include representations in Brazil, China and Hungary, will officially partner the Mariners in a number of exciting on and off the field initiatives in future years.
Most tellingly, the partnership between the Mariners and Sheffield United will be evident at the top tier of future club planning.
Mariners Deputy Chairman Peter Turnbull, owner of Turnbull Group Developments, and Sheffield United owner and Chairman Kevin McCabe, have agreed to form a joint venture property company.
The purpose of this joint venture is to secure and develop properties within Australia where a substantial amount of the profits will be utilised for the benefit of the Mariners for decades to come.
These sums can be allocated to the Mariners in the interest of continuing the business of providing opportunities for youth by way of the Mariners Youth Academy and by providing the Mariners with sufficient future capital to continue to expand their business.
By virtue of partnering with Sheffield United, the Mariners now have established football links with the ambitious UK club, Chinese Super League club Chengdu Blades, Brazilian giant Sao Paulo and legendary Hungarian club Ferencvaros.
"The benefit of today's announcement in terms beyond football cannot be understated," said Mariners Deputy Chairman Peter Turnbull.
"In engaging the expertise of a gentleman of Kevin McCabe's repute, a man whose track record in establishing and revolutionising football clubs is renowned the world over, we have truly taken a significant step in ensuring that the Mariners become the centre of excellence for football in Australia."
Beyond the off field benefits of the Mariners' new arrangement, the fledgling Mariners Youth Academy, the only one of its kind in Australia, is set to benefit from an association with one of Europe's most highly regarded Youth Academy structures.
It is intended for the elite members of the Mariners Youth Academy to tour the world to visit its partner clubs in England, Brazil, China and Hungary, providing the Central Coast's best young talents an opportunity to further their football education in a way that is not available to any other group of outstanding young talents in Australia.
In reverse, the Mariners will have some of Sheffield United's brightest Youth Academy or reserve team prospects available to play in yellow and navy on occasion - with the Blades currently able to boast one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan line ups in England's second tier.
Sheffield United's current Championship squad boasts talent from China, Jamaica, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Senegal, Sweden, Wales and Australia, who are represented by David Carney.
"In terms of our future player recruitment, youth pathways and talent identification, this partnership is one that will be invaluable to the future of our club," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.
"Our Youth Academy has already made significant strides in its embryonic stages and this partnership will serve to enhance its progress and the quality of players it will produce for our future senior line ups.
"We're delighted to have signed this agreement with Sheffield United, one of the world's most progressive and ambitious clubs and one whose history and experience in all facets of football will prove invaluable to our future successes."