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Jan 16, 2009

Queensland's new A-League bosses spar

A memorable visit to Townsville awaits outspoken Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer if the boss of fellow A-League newcomers North Queensland Fury gets his way.

Mining magnate Palmer raised eyebrows this week when he claimed his team would not only win the 2009-10 A-League title on debut but also do it undefeated.

The billionaire has been flying high since grabbing the Gold Coast A-League licence, sending further shockwaves through the league by sealing Socceroos star Jason Culina as the marquee signing this week.

But Palmer looks set to crash back to earth, according to bemused Fury boss Don Matheson.

"The game needs people like Clive," he told AAP.

"But I look forward to putting him over my lap when he comes up to north Queensland, tapping his arse and saying `you got it all wrong mate'."

Matheson said Palmer had only set the Gold Coast up for a massive fall in their debut season.

"Good luck to them. I am sure Clive is going to add some excitement to the competition by making calls like that," he said.

"But it also makes the fall a bit harder at the back end of it when it doesn't come off.

"Look, I wish him the best but after being involved in sport for a long time I know it doesn't work like that."

Matheson may soon be doing some boasting of his own.

North Queensland will try to entice Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler to become their inaugural marquee player when he visits Townsville next week.

The former England international is expected to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday to meet coach Ian Ferguson and officials over a potential move to Australia.

Fowler, 33, was recently released by Blackburn Rovers after making just three appearances since joining from Cardiff City.

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