Sven to be quizzed over financial allegations

January 22, 2006

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has been asked to appear before the Football Association's compliance unit following Sunday newspaper revelations which chief executive Brian Barwick admitted have 'not been good for the game's image'.

The Swede insisted in the News of the World that he would not want to be involved with transfers if he took a club job in England because managers 'put money in their pocket'.

Eriksson was asked if English managers got involved with transfers during taped meetings in Dubai with an undercover News of the World reporter - posing as a 'fake Sheikh.'

Eriksson, who suggested during the meeting that he would be prepared to become manager of Aston Villa as part of a takeover bid, was quoted as saying: 'If I come there (Aston Villa) I don't want to have anything to do with money, money to transfer.'

Asked by the undercover reporter, 'Do managers always get involved with transfers?' he is quoted as replying: 'Yeah and of course they put money in their pocket'.'

Eriksson, his agent Athole Still and lawyer Richard Des Voeux met the reporter at an exclusive hotel in Dubai after he had been asked if he was interested in coaching at an academy there some time in the future.

The FA issued a statement on their website www.TheFA.com which read: 'Further to today's allegations in the News of the World concerning Sven-Goran Eriksson, The Football Association has this morning requested from the newspaper details of all the conversations which are alleged to have taken place with an undercover reporter in Dubai.

'Additionally, FA chief executive Brian Barwick has spoken to Sven-Goran Eriksson regarding the allegations and will discuss them further with him tomorrow.

'Sven will then attend a meeting with the FA's Compliance Unit to discuss some of the issues raised in today's article. This is standard practice with such matters, as in the case with Luton Town manager Mike Newell and Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway.

'The Compliance Unit will also interview Athole Still, Sven's agent who accompanied him to Dubai and is quoted extensively in the News of the World. This follows a meeting earlier today which Athole Still attended at Brian Barwick's request with Barwick and FA executives at Soho Square.'

Barwick said: 'Allegations made during the past week have not been good for the game's image.

'However, the FA fully appreciates the importance of supporting Sven and the England team in the build-up to and during the World Cup this summer.

'We realise how important this is to every England supporter and are fully aware of our responsibility to provide Sven and the team with the best chance of achieving success in Germany. Rest assured, we are committed to doing this.

'I'd like to call on everyone connected with the game to get behind Sven and the team over the next five months as we countdown to what we all believe is one of our best opportunities in a World Cup finals for many years.'