SYDNEY: Former England striker Robbie Fowler will not be returning to take charge of Brisbane Roar when the A-League season restarts next month, the Australian club told local media on Monday.
The Liverpool great and his assistant Tony Grant went home to England in March when the season was suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.
"The world's changed, we never expected this. It's a shame because the way we were building was beautiful," Brisbane's vice-chairman Chris Fong told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"We're extremely disappointed but that's the circumstances of this pandemic."
The club are expected to officially announce the end of his reign later on Monday.
Fong told the newspaper that Welsh assistant coach Darren Davies and the club's academy manager Warren Moon would share coaching duties on a caretaker basis and that the next permanent coach would be Australian.
Fowler 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 with six rounds of the regular season and the championship playoffs remaining.
Fowler said on British television last week he remained "stood down" from his post and that the club had not been able to fulfil his request to secure him a flight to Australia.
Australia has been relatively successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 but travel restrictions between states remain in place and anyone arriving from abroad is obliged to self-isolate for 14 days.
The A-League will resume behind closed doors on July 16 with the regular season to be wrapped up by the end of August.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing Peter Rutherford)