Robbie Fowler will join Perth Glory for next season’s campaign after agreeing a deal with the Western Australia outfit ahead of the other A-League and Middle Eastern sides chasing his signature.
The 35 year old has been signed on a one year deal with initial reports on the salary ranging anywhere from $600,000 to $800,000 AUD (£360k – £480k) for the season.
The move is expected to be funded by the upturn in attendances Fowler creates wherever he plays in Australia. When he visited Perth with his former side North Queensland Fury a crowd of 12,872 watched, the highest of the season for the Glory.
“If we get an extra 3000 members only that will fund Robbie Fowler,” said Tony Sage, the owner of Perth Glory who first contacted the Liverpool legend eleven days ago when he was on a business trip to the UK. Sage added that money wasn’t the factor that clinched the deal.
“Our offer was not the highest. There were two or three other offers, especially from a Middle Eastern club, that were higher. Obviously the Sydney offer was a bit higher than ours, so why did he decide to come to Perth? We convinced him that the lifestyle here (was excellent), the way the club’s going, the direction we’re heading.” Although it is disputed in the Sydney press that Sydney FC offered more money.
With the signing of Fowler, Sage is hoping for a playoff place as a minimum next year. “We want to win and if Robbie was just going to be an ornament we wouldn’t be interested,” he said.
“The aim again is top four. We missed out by one point last year and that was very disappointing. But we want to have a home final. I would be disappointed if we didn’t finish top two, obviously, but top four is the aim initially.”
The Perth Glory owner stated his belief that Fowler will be able to top the nine goals in twenty six appearances he got in Townsville for the Fury; “with (our) guys feeding him the ball he can score lots of goals this year for us.”
Fowler will be joining up with his former Fury Boss Ian Ferguson (former Glasgow Rangers midfielder) who is now an assistant at the Glory and Sage discredited the rumours that the pair don’t get on following a high profile bust-up in North Queensland.
“A bit of an advantage for us was the fact he played under Fergie last year. Despite all the media reports he (Fowler) gets on very well with Fergie.”
“In fact the first call that was made was by Ferguson to Robbie saying that we were interested, do you want to come and look at Perth as an option. So let’s dispel any rumours from the beginning that there’s any animosity between the two, they’re both men, they both sorted it out, so there’s no problem there, otherwise the contact wouldn’t have been made in the first place.”
Fowler is expected to join up with Perth Glory in June after he has finish some previous business commitments he has relating to this summer’s World Cup.