Thailand Bids Farewell To Robbie Fowler - Green Door Enterprises

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[Published on 2012-02-10 in Thailand Newsby Jesse Schule]

Thailand Bids Farewell To Robbie Fowler

Just a year after his arrival in Thailand, Robbie Fowler is on the move again, this time he is heading to India. The 36 year old striker made headlines last year when he signed with Muang Thong United of Thailand's Premier League. Shortly after his arrival, the former Liverpool hero and England striker was also named as the team's player-coach. The signing of Fowler in July last year may have put the Thai Premier League on the map, making international sports headlines, but as far as the fans are concerned, it was a failed experiment. 

The 36-year-old striker, who scored 183 goals during eight years at Liverpool and won 26 England caps, would not score his first goal for Muang Thong United until almost 3 months into the season. After a disappointing start, Fowler replaced Henrique Calisto as acting head coach, however he did not fare any better than the man he replaced.

Muang Thong United won the league by four points in 2010. Just a year later there was a shocking swing of 29 points, seeing them finish in third place, some 25 points behind Buriram PEA. The final quarter of the season when Fowler was at the helm, turned out to be a complete disaster. Winning just one of their final eight games - a disastrous run which saw them lose to Buriram and rivals for second place Chonburi, and drop points to each of the bottom three teams all while Fowler was in charge.

Fowler did not leave Thailand on good terms with the club, he was quoted as saying "The president and CEO of Mtutd know why I quit and it certainly was nothing to do with results." This was in response to an article published in the Bangkok Post, quoting Fowler as saying "I want to take responsibility after the team failed to get good results". Fowler followed up on Twitter, flatly denying that he made any such remarks. 

Fowler joins fellow aging football stars such as Herman Crespo and Fabio Cannavaro, who have also made the move to the new upstart Indian Football League. The new league will be based on the American MLS, as well as cricket's IPL, around 30 players and six coaches from around the world will be auctioned off in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata for the league, to be staged between 25 February and 8 April.

With Cricket dominating the sports scene in India, their Fifa world ranking is a dismal 162nd overall, despite the fact that 60,000,000 Indians tuned in to watch The English Premier League football matches last year. The league's organizers are hoping that by bringing in high profile players like Fowler, Crespo and Cannavaro, Indian football will grow and improve in the coming years. 

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