Harry Kewell reaches for the gate-takings
Out-of-contract at Galatasaray and seemingly short of the kind of offers that interest him, Australian star Harry Kewell is considering a return to his homeland.
Given that most A-League clubs don’t have the cash to keep Old King Kewell in the manner to which he has become accustomed, Harry and his manager have come up with a novel proposal: he wants a fixed portion of the gate-money.
Said manager, Bernie Mandic, has been asking for the help of Football Federation Australia in locking in a deal that would see Kewell taking home 70 per cent of revenue increases from away games. Let’s say Moneygrubbers United are playing at Struggle City and last season the fixture was watched by 10,000 fans.
With Kewell featuring for MU, the attendance at this season’s game is 20,000. According to Mandic, the Harry factor is the difference and they want the biggest slice of what the 10,000 extra spectators put through the turnstiles.
“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.” said Mandic in an interview on Radio SEN. “We offered them … 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.”
That’s nothing from FFA, but it’s just icing on the top of what would likely be the biggest club contract in the league’s history.
For his part Kewell says he is disappointed in the way the story has been reported and that he is not just interested in the money.
He said: “I think these things have come out without people knowing the full story or what I really want to do.”
of those projects is, apparently, a desire to use the proposed revenue deal to fund a football academy for underprivileged children.
Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory appear to be the clubs pursuing Kewell most vigorously. Sydney has reportedly matched the Victory offer, which would give Kewell 80 per cent of revenues generated by membership sales above last season’s level and a similar percentage of monies generated through extra sponsorship and merchandising as a result of his presence with the club.
Although turning 33 this year, Kewell hopes to still be on deck for the 2014 World Cup if Australia qualify. Good luck negotiating a revenue split with the Blatter Bunch, Harry!