Football 1 year ago

City, FFA coy on Cahill signing

  • City, FFA coy on Cahill signing

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 04: Tim Cahill of Australia looks on during the international friendly match between the Australian Socceroos and Greece at ANZ Stadium on June 4, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Are Football Federation Australia's two major concessions to Melbourne City enough to get out the mega-rich A-League club's chequebook to sign Tim Cahill?

The introduction of a new guest player role has been tailor made for the veteran Socceroo, and FFA chief executive David Gallop admitted as much on Wednesday.

"I'm not calling it the Tim Cahill rule but I can understand if others might," he said.

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Cahill, 36, has been the most marketable Socceroo - and perhaps Australian sportsman full stop - for the best part of a decade.

Since he left English Premier League club Everton four years ago, it has been a bone of contention that he chose to continue his career in the US and China over the A-League.

Recognising this transfer window may be their last shot to see Cahill play in the league, FFA is pulling out all the stops.

"We all know there are discussions going on with Tim Cahill," he said.

"We're looking at a range of measures to make it attractive to him.

"The rules are now in place to accommodate that and it's something we're very keen to see.

"People love seeing big stars and certainly Tim would be a huge star in the A-League."

Gallop praised the other nine A-League clubs for allowing the rule change, saying it showed maturity and an understanding "everyone would benefit" from the move.

City, which began pre-season training this week, have declined to comment on their interest in Cahill.

Along with the guest player concession approved this week, FFA have also allowed Melbourne City to rebrand their playing strips to match the blue of parent club Manchester City.

A differentiation has been made between Sydney FC's "Sky Blue" and City's "City Blue", which has been mocked heartily on social media.

The difference might not show up on a colour swab, but Gallop explained it was about branding.

"City have made it clear that Sky Blue is not an expression that they're interested in. City Blue is," he said.

"It's a smart move for the A-League ... the global identity of Manchester City perhaps wasn't being fully utilised."

Gallop also said he expected to appoint a new A-League chief to replace departed executive Damien de Bohun shortly.

"We're deep into the process and we've got a small number of people still in the running," he said.

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