Fowler turns down Sydney FC contract

July 20, 2007
By Philip Henderson

Sydney FC have failed in their bid to recruit former Liverpool and England striker Robbie Fowler as the A-League club's marquee player.

Fowler's adviser, George Scott, telephoned Sydney chief executive George Perry to say the man dubbed "God" by Liverpool supporters wouldn't be moving to the harbour city.

It is the third high-profile player to turn down Sydney's advances in their unrelenting bid for a marquee player, with the club previously failing to snare Dutch star Phillip Cocu and Socceroos hero John Aloisi.

The Blues were hopeful Fowler would sign after his flying five-day tour of Sydney last week.

But after arriving back in England on Tuesday to talk over the move with his family, Fowler turned down the offer with English Championship club Cardiff City favoured to sign the 32-year-old off-contract star.

"Naturally, we're bitterly disappointed but we're satisfied we did everything we could to persuade Robbie to come to Sydney FC, Australia and the A-League competition," said Perry.

"Robbie was tremendously impressed by what he saw in Sydney but he's chosen to go elsewhere.

"We respect his decision and wish him and his family well."

Despite the setback, Perry said the club would continue pursuing a marquee player, but only if the recruit met all the club's criteria.

"It's important we ensure we don't get a marquee player for the sake of getting one at any price and comprising our standards," Perry said.

"We need to ensure any prospective signing fits the bill."

While unable to snare a marquee player, Sydney last week signed Australian World Cup defender Tony Popovic.