Sven to leave Notts County as Trew takes control
Sven-Goran Eriksson will leave Notts County after it was revealed that a consortium of investors headed by businessman Ray Trew has bought the club for £1 from former chairman Peter Trembling.
Eriksson was promised £25 million of investment when he first arrived at the club, but the Swede's time at the club has been a troubled one with the departure of owners Munto Finance, the Sol Campbell debacle and the threat of administration looming.
Eriksson joined County in the summer but has recently been linked with the task of leading Nigeria at the World Cup, and other national jobs including those of North Korea and Sweden. However, he will continue to be a figurehead for the club as ''joint life president''.
New chief executive Jim Rodwell said: "He has agreed to stay on as joint life president which is a less hands-on role but it gives people an idea of how honourable Sven has been to deal with."
Trew will face the Football League's new Fit and Proper Persons' Test, although is not promising the same kind of money as the original owners.
"I am absolutely certain I can do something with this club," he said. "But I might upset a few fans. The problem with this club is that it has been living beyond its means and that cannot go on. We have to build a club here that is secure for the future generations and that means we will have to make some serious decisions."
Earlier, Trembling confirmed his exit and said in a statement: ''I am delighted to announce that the search for investment into this football club has concluded and last night I signed over my 90% shareholding in the club and hence the ownership to a new consortium. This consortium will reveal themselves and their plans for the Club at a press conference on Monday.
''We have been on a relentless search over the last couple of months for parties intent on and able of investing £25m - £50m into Notts County. I have said all along that for relatively little investment and the capability to build thereafter, this opportunity represents one of the best, pound for pound in football. Proposed investors have concurred with that statement and have shown intent and proof of funds in their respective quests for getting involved with Notts County.
''However, the biggest challenge all along has been time and it has proved impossible to secure the major investment in the tight timeframes we have. The new owners of the Club are not of the £25m+ ilk but they do know the football business and most importantly have sufficient funds available to ensure the immediate survival of this football club and not least in view of our Court case in less than 2 weeks time. In addition they are intent and focused on promotion this season which has been the major objective from day 1.
''Accordingly I am satisfied with our due diligence and that I am passing the baton over to people who can take this football club forward. Furthermore I have passed over the details of the bigger, longer term investors and with the additional time there should still be an opportunity for significant funding into the Club. It is a great Club, it will and has attracted enormous interest and I anticipate that will continue from here on.
''The new owners will bring their own senior management team into the Club and accordingly Gary Townsend and I leave the Club with immediate effect.
''I would like to take the opportunity of thanking the staff, the players and the supporters for the magnificent support I have received over the last few months. This Club was left in a desperate situation courtesy of Munto Finance and at the appropriate time I will reveal more information as to what happened there.''
Trew is thought to have bought the club for £1, but County have debts which total more than £1.5 million.
The club are due back in the High Court on February 24 to face a winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs for an unpaid tax bill. Former manager Ian McParland and Nottingham Rugby Club are also thought to be owed money by the club.