After falling prey to a News Of The World sting operation, England manager Sven Goran Eriksson will resign following this summer’s World Cup. Which, is sort of what he promised the undercover reporter he’d do.
The FA confirmed tonight that once England have competed in the World Cup finals in June and July, Eriksson will part company with the national side, two years before his contract was due to expire.
It follows successive weekends of damaging revelations in the News of the World, who duped Eriksson and his advisers into believing an undercover reporter was a rich Arab sheikh who wanted to give the Swede a new job.
A statement on the FA website said: “The FA can confirm that Sven-Goran Eriksson will leave his post as England head coach after the World Cup in Germany.
“FA chief executive Brian Barwick reached agreement with Sven and his advisors after discussions today.”
The FA have always been aware that prising Eriksson from his job would not be easy without paying compensation and there were initial fears that this could run to £6 million. However, the nature of Eriksson’s gaff with the News of the World meant this figure was mitigated and this was further reduced by Sunday’s further revelations which, by tarnishing the entire Premier League, meant many of those who had always supported Eriksson were now furious.
The FA were also keen to wrap it up quickly. The draw for Euro 2008, the championships which were meant to be Sven’s swan-song, is on Friday and there was no way Sven could have avoided the media and further embarrassment.
Coral have opened betting on who will be England’s next full-time manager and make Middlesbrough’s Steve McClaren, Bolton’s Sam Allardyce and Alan Curbishley of Charlton the 5-1 co-favourites.
Martin O’Neill is an 8-1 chance along with Phil Scolari, while Gus Hiddink and Stuart Pearce are 10-1 chances. “The betting on who will be the next England manager could not be more open,” said Simon Clare, a Coral spokesman.