Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler will not be returning to Perth Glory for the next Australian A-League season for family reasons, the club has said.
Club chairman Tony Sage said late Wednesday that Fowler had informed Glory he would not be coming back for a second playing season. "I have a wonderful and loving family to consider and with the children in school, it's best to keep them settled," Fowler said in a statement.
"I also need to stay in the UK to complete my coaching badges. I thank everyone at Perth Glory and in Western Australia for making me feel so welcome and I wish (coach) Ian Ferguson and the players all the best for the coming season," he said.
Sage said Fowler had told him his decision was based solely around his family and he was not in discussions with other clubs. Fowler, 36, played two seasons in the A-League after first turning out for the now-defunct North Queensland Fury two years ago.
Perth Glory's decision to sign New Zealand international Shane Smeltz in March raised speculation that it could spell the end of Fowler's career in Australia. Striker Smeltz, who played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, became Glory's marquee player on a three-year contract reportedly worth USD 1.28 million.
Reports said at the time that former England international Fowler was likely to take a hefty pay cut if he wanted to stay in Perth for the next A-League season starting in October.