Former Socceroo coach Graham Arnold has said today he had signed an improved deal to stay with the Central Coast Mariners after rejecting an offer from Australian A-League rivals Sydney FC. The Mariners said Arnold had agreed to a contract which will keep him in charge until the end of the 2013/14 A-League season.
"Two years ago I signed a three-year contract with the Mariners, and I have decided to see that three-year term out because of the loyalty and respect I have for the players, the chairman, the staff and all the supporters," Arnold said in a club statement. "We had a fantastic season and it is a big incentive to compete in the AFC Champions League again next year."
Arnold said his main focus was now on player recruitment for next season and next week's Champions League game against Nagoya Grampus in Japan. "It's been a tough decision and I am hugely flattered by the interest I received from Sydney FC," he said.
Sydney are looking for a new coach following the departure of Czech Vitezslav Lavicka. "Sydney FC presented a very attractive offer to Graham based on the understanding that he was free to join the club," Sydney FC Football Director Gary Cole said in a statement.
"We had asked Graham for a final answer by today but we were presented with some last-minute requests which we were not prepared to meet."