Frank Farina
Frank Farina Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

Farina pays price for failure to make finals

Former Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold is the front-runner to replace sacked Sydney FC mentor Frank Farina at the Sky Blues.

Farina was axed yesterday after failing to get the club into the top four of this season's A-League competition.

Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow praised the contribution Farina made to the club over the past two seasons, after the former Socceroos and Brisbane Roar boss took over when Ian Crook resigned just after the start of the 2012/13 season.

"Frank joined us as coach in a difficult period last season and has always given his absolute dedication and commitment to the club," Barlow said. "Frank has shown great integrity and resolve in what has been often challenging circumstances this year. I would like to pay tribute to Frank for his professionalism and wish him well for the future."

Farina was the club's eighth coach in the past nine seasons.

Arnold, who resigned as coach of J-League club Vegalta Sendai earlier this month, has already rejected an approach from Perth Glory and has had discussions with Newcastle Jets management about the vacant head coaching role at that club.

But Sydney FC, which thought it had lured Arnold to the club prior to apppointing Crook, will no doubt move heaven and earth to make sure it doesn't miss out this time.