Former England striker Robbie Fowler has launched a wrongful dismissal case with FIFA over his departure as head coach of A-League club Brisbane Roar during the COVID-19 lockdown, Australian media has reported.
The Liverpool great and his assistant Tony Grant went home to England in March when the season was suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak and his exit was announced by the club in late June.
Brisbane’s Irish striker Roy O’Donovan labelled his former coach “a bit selfish” for not returning to resume his job when the league resumed, a judgement that clearly rankled with Fowler.
“Lots of people have opinions about me but one thing I’m not is selfish,” Fowler told the Sydney Morning Herald at the weekend.
“I had a job to do and I wanted to finish that job. I wasn’t given the chance to go back and show people what we potentially could have done.
“I’m certainly not selfish and I’m not a quitter.”
The paper said Fowler had engaged a firm of lawyers in Sydney and launched a complaint with FIFA’s dispute resolution tribunal seeking damages.
The 45-year-old only had the experience of the 2011-12 season as player-coach at Thai club Muangthong United on his CV when he took over at the Roar at the start of the season.
He led the club, which had finished second bottom the previous season, to fourth place when matches were suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Neither the Brisbane Roar, which told News Ltd the coach’s departure was by mutual consent, nor Fowler’s Sydney lawyers responded to a request for comment on the matter.