SYDNEY FC have confirmed they want North Queensland Fury striker Robbie Fowler to become their marquee player next season, but deny a deal for the Liverpool legend has already been completed.The Sky Blues’ board has given the green light to the club’s football department to pursue the ex-England international, who has made no secret of his penchant for the Sydney lifestyle.While negotiations are yet to commence, Fowler is expected to be offered marquee wages of a comparable nature to what he earned at North Queensland, thought to be about $750,000 per season.The 35-year-old is holidaying with his family in England after a successful debut season with the Fury, bagging nine goals and helping inspire the club from the bottom of the table. However, he failed to score after November and suffered a spectacular falling-out with coach Ian Ferguson, with reports subsequently suggesting Fowler wanted to manage the club.While Fowler has insisted he’s yet to make a decision on his future, Sydney haven’t wasted time in signalling their intention to land his signature.”At this very moment, we haven’t spoken to Robbie Fowler himself or to his agent but we’ve sought permission from FFA [Football Federation Australia] to speak to a number of players who were under contract with North Queensland Fury last year,” club CEO Edwin Lugt told the Herald yesterday. ”I won’t reveal the full list of names because as I understand it, one or two of those players have already agreed to stay with North Queensland. But I can confirm Fowler was on that list.”It is understood David Williams was one of those players but he is thought to be favouring a long-term stay with the Fury. However, Sydney have made their intentions clear for the transfer period, with their focus on filling key attacking roles.”We are still looking to fill about five positions next year,” Lugt said. ”That includes a left midfielder, a number 10, a striker, who presumably has the type of skills that are complementary qualities and skills to our existing strikers, [Mark] Bridge and [Alex] Brosque.”That should also be a highly skilled, technical striker who doesn’t need 10 square metres to control the ball. Robbie Fowler fits that picture. Yes, we’re interested in high-quality strikers and I can confirm there’s real interest in him.”Lugt insisted that Fowler was still worthy of marquee player status and would have the Sydney Football Stadium turnstiles clicking over next season. ”Is a marquee player who should bring extra bums on the seats that justifies an extra investment? Or is a marquee [a] player who simply lifts the level of the whole team, making the team perform better and therefore lifting the crowds?” Lugt said. ”Looking at Robbie Fowler, he can do both. He definitely has the name, image and profile that could bring bums on seats to Sydney, that’s very clear.”A poll on the Herald website last night confirmed Lugt’s suspicions, with a whopping 73 per cent of respondents confirming they were more likely to attend Sydney matches should Fowler agree to terms.FFA chief executive Ben Buckley confirmed that Sydney were ”one of a number of clubs” who had asked to speak with Fowler, though he said the FFA’s preference was for Fowler to stay with the Fury as they sought to build momentum for their second season.While Fowler looks likely to be heading south, Archie Fraser appears to be heading north to Townsville after resigning from his post as A-League chief executive yesterday.Hand-picked by Buckley to run the competition, Fraser will now return to Queensland in a consultancy capacity with the FFA, starting with an intensive role at the Fury.Buckley’s own future has come under question lately with AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said to be eager to lure him back to his native sport. However, Buckley said he ”wasn’t interested” in a return to AFL.Elsewhere, a consortium headed by local businessman Alan Young has entered into a ”transitional partnership arrangement” with the FFA for the ownership of Adelaide United. Young’s consortium is expected to assume complete control of the club before the 2011-12 season.
Nanjing Night Net