Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler will be playing in Perth Glory colours next year - with millionaire owner Tony Sage saying massive member interest in the ex-England forward could help pay his wages.
Sage today confirmed the signing he said was the biggest in the club history, with Fowler agreeing to a one-year deal last night after two weeks of negotiations.
Despite serious interest from Sydney FC, and a big money offer to play in the Middle-East, Fowler chose Perth after being sold on the lifestyle for him and his young family.
And Sage said with Fowler's presence pulling around 4000 fans through the gate for the Fury's trip to Perth last year, similar interest from new members in WA could help Fowler pay for himself.
"We want to win, and if Robbie was just going to be an ornament we would not be interested. But he proved to everyone last year ... he can play," Sage said.
"And with (our) guys feeding him the ball he can score lots of goals this year for us.
"If we get an extra 3000 members only that will fund Robbie Fowler ... that would top it off really nicely."
Fowler will arrive in WA in June, after some corporate World Cup commitments. And Sage said his presence could be the missing link in Glory moving from first round finalists to genuine A-League contenders.
"I would be disappointed if we did not finish in the top two, but the top four is the aim initially," Sage said.
Sage and Fowler held talks in the UK two weeks ago, and Fowler has been weighing up the offer since.
With his former club North Queensland in turmoil, it had been rumoured Fowler's wife was not keen on a return to Australia, but the Glory convinced the Liverpool man the WA lifestyle would suit both of them.
New A-League rules had given the club a massive boost in its bid to secure the signature, with two marquee players per team now permitted.
In Glory's case, that would mean current marquee player Mile Sterjovski would come under the Australian banner - meaning another marquee spot opened.
Dave Mitchell previously said he wanted Fowler to fill it
"When a good player comes on the market we are always interested.
"He'd put bums on seats for sure. He's still a fantastic player and a born goalscorer. He's somebody I'm sure the FFA would like to keep in the country.
"The new ruling is a big boost for the league and it gives clubs that little bit more flexibility.
"We want to go that step further and players like Robbie can help take (us) there."
- WA Today
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