Football: Fowler writes to Le Saux

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ROBBIE FOWLER has released the contents of a "private" letter written to Graeme Le Saux aimed at ending the rumbling dispute over their running feud when Liverpool visited Stamford Bridge on 27 February.

Le Saux was caught by television elbowing Fowler in the back of the head following an angry confrontation between the pair, during which the Liverpool striker made offensive gestures towards his England colleague. The Football Association has since charged both players with misconduct.

Fowler has been condemned for his actions, and yesterday sought to defuse the situation by issuing a copy of a letter from him that was delivered to Stamford Bridge earlier in the day. However, under clear legal advice he has been careful not to admit to wrong-doing and again uses the term "misinterpreted" in the letter, having made the same claim in a statement last Friday after receiving Le Saux's letter of apology.

Le Saux sent his letter to Fowler, and the contents of that have not been made public. Now Fowler clearly wants his version of the incident out in the open before the FA hearing, and he released it through his solicitor, Kevin Dooley.

Graham Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, had expressed his wish to see a more extensive response from Fowler than he produced last Friday after Le Saux's public apology and his own private letter to the England striker.

Le Saux's advisors had said they wanted to scrutinise the contents of any letter of apology from Fowler before giving it their seal of approval.

Fowler's letter, beginning "Dear Graeme" and addressed to Le Saux, c/o Chelsea FC, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, Chelsea, London, said:

"I am in receipt of your without prejudice letter about what occurred on Saturday, 27 February at Stamford Bridge.

"I am sorry if you misinterpreted my actions during the game, which were not meant to cause any offence to yourself or anyone else. Hopefully this unhappy incident can now be brought to an end.

"I am sure you share my hope that when we play together again either on opposite sides or on international duty, people have no reason to judge us other than on our footballing abilities.

Best wishes,

R Fowler."

Merseyside on the defensive, page 30