Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler set to be named East Bengal head coach for inaugural ISL season


Former Liverpool FC legend Robbie Fowler is set to be named as the new head coach of Indian Super League (ISL) new entrants East Bengal FC.

Robbie Fowler will be the highest-profile manager in the Indian Super League.

East Bengal Football Club were officially announced as the 11th team of Indian Super League (ISL) on Sunday.

Fowler had a successful managerial career with Brisbane Roar. He took over the A-League side, who had finished second from bottom the previous season and rose up to the play-offs into fourth position before the season was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fowler’s managerial career began during the 2011-12 season with Thailand’s top division side Muangthong United as a player-manager. Fowler was appointed as the club’s player-manager in the middle of the season and guided the team to a third-place finish at the end of the season.

Former India international Renedy Singh is likely to be named as assistant head coach of the club.

East Bengal’s inclusion will make a huge mark in the league, which already has seen Mohun Bagan’s entry, joining hands with ATK. The Derby between the two will be the most-awaited fixture of the ISL, to be held in Goa this time behind closed doors.

As a player, Robbie Fowler scored 120 goals for Liverpool before playing for Manchester City and Leeds United before returning to Liverpool.

He became a journeyman later in his career going on to play for North Queensland Fury, Perth Glory and Muangthong United.

The ex-Premier League striker’s profile was one of the first ones to reach the Kolkata giants. However, in the days to come, several high profile names like Sven-Goran Eriksson, Jose Pekerman and others were also in the fray.

A month ago, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced Hari Mohan Bangur-owned Shree Cement as the club’s majority stakeholder. The cement company holds  76 per cent stake, while East Bengal has 24 per cent.

“It is such a happy and proud moment for ISL as we welcome East Bengal FC and their millions of fans into the League. The inclusion of both legacy clubs, i.e. East Bengal and Mohun Bagan (now ATK Mohun Bagan) opens limitless possibilities for Indian football, especially for talent development in the state,” FDSL chairperson Nita Ambani said.

Robbie Fowler is also Premier League’s all-time seventh highest goal scorer with 163 to his name.

He scored 183 goals in total for Liverpool, 120 of which were scored in the top tier.

The 2020-21 season is expected to go on from November 2020 to March 2021 and will be hosted behind-closed-doors across three venues in Goa,  due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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