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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 29, 2006

Parry: Fowler was 'desperate' to return to Anfield

Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has revealed Robbie Fowler was 'desperate' to return to Anfield.

In a shock move, Fowler signed a short-term deal until the end of the season on Friday.

After more than four years away - initially 14 months with Leeds before three years with Manchester City - Fowler will again turn out for the club where he is idolised.

The 'Toxteth Terror', who scored 171 goals in 330 appearances during a near 10-year spell on Merseyside, could not wait to again sign up for the Reds.

'I've never known a transfer happen quite so quickly,' said Parry, on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme. 'It was all done within 24 hours, and that was largely because of Robbie's passion to rejoin the club.

'I had to persuade Robbie to look at the contract. I think I could have put a contract in front of him with no money on it and he would have signed it!

'He really was that desperate to come back. At Liverpool we always look for players who are committed to coming to the club, and want to play for us. I've never seen quite such enthusiasm as Robbie showed.'

Despite Liverpool's success this season - the club are third in the Premiership table and through to the last 16 of the Champions League - manager Rafael Benitez's side have found goals hard to come by.

Despite Fowler's recent struggles with City, Parry is hoping the 30-year-old can solve the problem.

'We hope this is the spark for his career, certainly on Robbie's part there is no lack of motivation,' added Parry. 'We hope it works out, and he hopes for sure it works out.

'Again, as a measure of his desire, the idea of coming short term was no factor at all. No problem. He was just desperate to come and prove himself to Rafa.

'The point to stress is that first and foremost this was a football decision, and it was Rafa's judgment he would strengthen the team.

'Throughout his career Robbie has been a tremendous goalscorer, a great predator, and we hope he will bring some qualities we don't have at the moment.'

Parry, meanwhile, believes the forthcoming Premier League 'bung' inquiry could prove a difficult one for current chief executive Richard Scudamore to conduct.

As a former chief executive of the Premier League, Parry was asked as to the biggest hurdle that will be faced.

'From experience, finding evidence,' replied Parry. 'There's a lot of innuendo. There will be all sorts of accusations, but finding hard evidence is the key.

'Unless people are willing to come forward and admit they've received bungs then it's almost impossible to gain proof.'