Sven Goran Eriksson's arrival at Notts County as Director of Football has sent shockwaves throughout all connected with the beautiful game. The quiet and "mysterious" man avoided cameras and media as he sneaked in the back gate of Meadow Lane under cover of darkness. We did some investigating and can bring you some exclusive stories and comments from behind the scenes as this great old football club goes through undoubtedly its biggest transition.
At secret board meetings, Sven outlined his proposals for the club along with his financial demands. Although speculated to have been agreed immediately with the club, we spoke to long time County shareholder Ravi Shanka who claims that the meetings were far from "ideal"
"The moment Mr. Eriksson walked in there was a nervous tension in the air, like a mist. He sat down at the top of the table and we asked him what ambitions he had for the club. We had privately drawn up "realistic" goals of securing financial stability with the overview of attracting fresh investment, whilst on the pitch trying to steady the ship and avoid a relegation fight the following season. Sven seen things differently"
Mr. Shanka went on to say that Eriksson looked at them all stone faced with an air of disbelief. He went a shade of purple as he bellowed "I want Champions League football as an absolute minimum!!!" Eriksson, apparently completely unaware of the history of the worlds oldest club, proceeded to launch into a half hour rant which included demolishing Meadow Lane (Est. 1910) immediately to make way for Eriksson's new house and cars, build the biggest stadium in the world using the Trent Bridge as a Stadium Entrance. "He also wants to blockade the river so the stadium can channel it's own water source" says Urtha Ingram, County tea lady of 50 years. Sven also spouted off ideas about building a childrens circus at one side of the ground, a Swedish massage parlour for "Exclusive use by Eriksson only" and a 50 foot statue of himself at either end of the ground.
According to many reports Sven is to received a whopping £1 Mil at day to run all aspects of Notts County. Shareholders are concerned, with one saying that this may be "too much when trying to streamline costs during the economic down turn" - however a majority of shareholders are said to back the huge wage packet, saying that it was value for money. Rumours about a "sweetener" in the deal of a Swedish blonde teenager in the deal for every shareholder have yet to be confirmed or denied by the club, although several "new doll faces" have been spotted around the ground since Sven's arrival. What has added even more fuel to this money fire is that players and staff are set to have their wages "severely reduced" with Sven claiming that "these are difficult times and we all must pull together" It's very easy to say that from a £5000 leather recliner were the words from Kevin Keegan, fellow ex-England Manager and Perm specialist. "I'd love it if we beat Nott's County" Said Keegan, unaware that he is no longer a manager of any club.
Reaction from the players upon Sven's arrival was at first shocked, elated and then totally bewildered. We managed to catch up with the regular squad to find out what structures the manager has put in place and what has been said. We cannot name the players due to a new "no name" policy that Sven has drawn up, so we will just use numbers.
Player No. 1: I haven't seen him yet.
Player No. 2: I spotted him walking down the corridor the other day. He looked at me with a look of distain and carried on walking.
Player No. 3: He was very nice, like a nice uncle. He said he liked what he saw in me and wanted to develop me further. He's invited me round to his house to show me some of his special techniques.
Player No. 4: I've just been fired via Eriksson's liaison officer. I don't know why yet because I was voted fans player of the year last season and was top goal scorer.
Player No. 5: We were warming up for our first training session at 7.30am and were very excited waiting for Mr. Eriksson to arrive. He arrived at 1pm in a chauffer driven limo and shouted from the window "Keep it up" before the limo drove off again.
Player No. 6: Eriksson came to the dressing room and took me aside. He wanted to know if I could come on holiday with him and his wife.
Player No. 7: I haven't seen him yet although I believe he wants me to compete for places with his targets, Christiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Lionel Messi.
Player No. 8: Mr. Eriksson arrived at the training ground early and I was the only one there. He stumbled out of his car, a 1961 Ferrari GT, and staggered towards me. He said he'd been celebrating joining Chelsea. I had to remind him that we were Notts County. He said he needed a lie down before training but he never showed up. I think he's in tomorrow.
Player No. 8: He's a very nice man. He said I was a key player in his plans pushing the club forward and would not sell me. I thanked him for putting his faith in me. He said I could play a key role in the reserves next season.
Player No. 9: I haven't seen him but I overheard him explaining his new tactical ideas to the Kitchen staff, which I found slightly odd as the management team have been waiting for weeks for the details. He said something about a "Christmas Tree Formation" and using something called the "Sweeper to duster movement" which involved all 11 players moving the same way at once, I must admit I was a little shocked.
Player No. 10: I haven't seen him though the boys who have met him are a bit nervous.
Player No. 11: I've been told that the new manager has sold me to Tianjin Teda F.C. which I believe is in the Chinese Super League. I'm sad to be leaving England, I don't know what the wife will say.
So as we leave Meadow lane, our heads are left spinning as to what the future holds for all at Notts County after the whirlwind arrival of Eriksson who clearly wants to ring in some radical changes. It will be one hell of a rollercoaster…. .