Tuesday 21 July ~
So, Sven-Göran Eriksson is set to join a club newly flush with Middle Eastern money. But it's Notts County rather than Portsmouth. Even County fans excited by these developments would concede that there is the basis for a comedy script in the raw detail. The new owners' name, Munto Finance, sounds like a one-man operation run out of a spare bedroom, while the club's new chief executive is a Mr Trembling. The latter has claimed that his new employers have a ten-year plan to revitalise a club who haven't finished higher than midtable in the bottom division for the past four years. It all sounds super, for a moment.
This would not be the first time that a famous international name has pitched up in a management role in League Two. Four years ago, Oxford United briefly employed former Argentina striker Ramon Diaz while Brentford took only a few months in 2007 to realise the error they had made in appointing another lower-league novice in Terry Butcher. So you would hope that there isn't much more to this than a publicity stunt.
Barring his early days in Sweden, Sven has no experience of managing at this level. And whatever role he is to be offered – the suggestion is that it would be as a director of football working alongside current boss Ian McParland – he would be a hugely expensive acquisition and an equally costly one to pay off.
If County are prepared to buy their way out of League Two they don't need to spend on anything like this scale. Any number of gnarled old pros with lower-division experience could get them up with the sort of budgetary advantage that they will hold over their rivals. Indeed, since this news broke there are signs that Mr Trembling and the men from Munto have cooked this up as a sideshow while they pursue their real target – they want to talk to Glenn Hoddle. Uh oh. Glyn Francis