Leeds fans will be taken aback by this brilliant Fowler story - report

By Alex Stevens

Robbie Fowler was talked into quitting Leeds in 2003 – by one of the club’s own directors.

The Liverpool legend, who spent two years at Elland Road after leaving his boyhood club in 2001, was urged to move on after initially backing out of a transfer to Manchester City.

Kevin Keegan, who was then the City manager, wanted to take advantage of Leeds’ worsening financial situation to sign Fowler up two years after he had joined from the Merseysiders for £11million.

Fowler, who is widely regarded as one of the outstanding strikers in Premier League history, had a medical at City and was all ready to put pen to paper, only to change his mind.

The former England international, now 41, explained why he initially did not want to make the move to Manchester before, in a revelation that will shock Leeds supporters, was convinced to go by a member of the board of directors.

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“Leeds as a club were brilliant,” said Fowler on a Sky Sports programme celebrating his career, as quoted by the Daily Star. “The fans were tremendous, they got right behind the team.

“Eventually there were a lot of problems at boardroom level and a lot of players were getting sold. Not everyone can live with the big boys and eventually it backfired.

“There was a bit of talk that the bigger boys would have to go and I was one of them. Man City came in but I didn’t really want to leave Leeds to move to another club.

“I was happy there, I was comfortable there but players needed to. I had a medical at Man City and came out and said ‘nah, I want to stay at Leeds’.”

However, Fowler was talked into changing his mind after bumping into one of the senior officials at the Yorkshire club.

“As I’m driving into Leeds, one of the directors was driving out,” Fowler added to the programme. “He puts the window down and we were having a bit of a chat.”I told him I’ve made up my mind, I want to stay here, I like it here. He said: ‘Take the money and run son, this club’s going under’.”
Those proved to be prescient words as Leeds were relegated from the Premier League 12 months later to begin a miserable period in the club’s history in which they were marooned in the lower leagues and beset by financial difficulties and erratic owners.
There are finally signs that the Yorkshire giants’ 13-year spell in the lower leagues could be coming to a close following the upturn in fortunes under Garry Monk.
Leeds are third in the Championship following 10 wins from 13 league fixtures and have genuine hopes of winning promotion this season.
Monk’s side travel to Barnsley on Saturday evening aiming for a seventh victory from eight games in all competitions.

In other Leeds transfer news, Monk has made a shock transfer revelation after meeting with new owner Andrea Radrizzani.

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