Sven-Goran Eriksson sparked an apparent revolution at Notts County in July. With Tord Grip and mysterious financial backing, he set off to dazzle the Football League like one of his secretaries. He signed legacy kid Kasper Schmeichel. He lured former England stalwart Sol Campbell with £60,000 per week till age 40 and a path into coaching.
Promotion seemed inevitable. A hasty vault from League Two to the Premier League seemed quite plausible. The fervor didn’t last long.
“Perhaps things are not happening as quickly as he thought they might, but this is a five-year project, not a five-week project. We can’t just become a Premier League club overnight.”
“That is how it is. If he doesn’t want to play here, we don’t want him here.”
The star is gone, and now there is trouble with the top, as the new ownership may struggle with the stringent “Fit and Proper Person’s Test.”
Russell King is a senior representative for Qadbak, the consortium that bought Notts County.
King fabricated the theft of his Aston Martin in 1991, to claim the £600,000 insurance fee, while his company, Zodiac Toys, was in massive debt. He was sentenced to two years in Prison.
He had assets frozen in Jersey, £1.9m, after defaulting on debts to Channel Islands-based Close Finance. King and Nathan Willett, who negotiated with Sven, have links to the Belgravia Group, currently facing criminal charges.
Authorities could not care less about moderate human rights violations, but dishonesty, fraud and financial impropriety will cause trouble, as it affects the league itself.
We’ve yet to see how the chaos will affect Notts County on the pitch. They looked like a juggernaut in early August, beating Bradford and Macclesfield by a combined 9-0. Though, they have been less impressive since, winning only two of their last six. Given summer expectations, eighth place must be disappointing.
Notts County’s fate is uncertain. The only certain thing is that Sven-Goran Eriksson has no shame. As long as someone keeps writing the checks, he will be there to cash them.