One of the worst-kept secrets in Australian soccer is finally, officially out: Tim Cahill has signed for A-League's Melbourne City FC.
Talk of Cahill's arrival in A-League has consumed much of the Australian s
ummer winter. The league has created its own version of the MLS "Beckham Rule" to land Australia's biggest soccer star, extending its "guest player" rule to allow for an additional big-money signing on the rosters of its clubs. Since that adjustment was made, the matter of Cahill coming home to play has been mostly a question of when, not if.
It has since been reported that Cahill's stint in A-League will be funded in part by the Australian football federation.
Despite all the help from league and federation, Melbourne City was quickly identified as the only club in A-League with the financial resources to afford Cahill's compensation requirements.
Melbourne City is, of course, an outlet of City Football Group's global soccer empire. The club's official announcement of Cahill's signing is a celebration of CFG's ambition to be a fully-integrated global soccer entity.
Cahill completed his medical in New York, at NYCFC, another CFG satellite. His contract is for three years, which includes a year on CFG's coaching staff:
The deal is in two parts: a two-year playing contract with a third year as part of City Football Group’s coaching team.
He is not just excited to join Melbourne, but also CFG:
I am incredibly excited to have signed with Melbourne City and ultimately the City Football Group.
CFG exec Brian Marwood is also quoted in the official release, revealing the ambition for Tim Cahill to follow the career path charted by Patrick Vieira:
Following the player-to-coach pathway of Patrick Vieira, Tim has a real opportunity to develop within City Football Group both on the field and from the touchline.
Might Tim Cahill - the MVP of the New York Red Bulls' 2013 Supporters' Shield winning season - be the next coach of NYCFC? We'll have to wait until at least 2018 to find out.