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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 January 2006, 11:42 GMT
Still launches Eriksson defence
Sven-Goran Eriksson
Sven-Goran Eriksson's agent has reacted angrily to allegations made against the England coach by the News of the World.

The revelations came after Eriksson had held discussions with an undercover reporter, posing as a Sheik, in Dubai.

Here, BBC Sport details the paper's allegations and the reaction of Eriksson's agent Athole Still, who spoke to BBC Radio Five Live.


The News of the World alleges that Eriksson said he could leave his post if England win the World Cup in June.

With Eriksson's current deal running until 2008, that would suggest the Swede is prepared to break his contract.

Still's response: "Nobody can be certain about what will happen in the future. But Sven is absolutely happy to stay.

"In fact, Sven said to me quite recently, 'perhaps I've got used to this job, perhaps you should have a word with Brian Barwick and see if the FA would be interested in extending my contract until 2010'.

"But it all depends on what happens in the World Cup. If Sven performs badly, it is entirely possible the FA will dispense of his services.

"We should not hypothesise about the future. No-one can be certain of what will happen."


The News of the World alleges that during the meeting, Eriksson suggested he would consider becoming Aston Villa boss if the Arab group succeeded in a possible takeover of the club.

Still's response: "The people we spoke to said they had a substantial sum of money to invest in a Premiership club.

"I mentioned Aston Villa and Sunderland. The rest of the conversation was sheer fantasy.

"At no point did Sven say he would not honour his contract with England.

"He did talk about possibly managing Aston Villa because you never know what will happen in football, but it was all hypothetical.

"There were never any negotiations, it was all just fantasising."


The News of the World alleges Eriksson said England captain David Beckham would return to England from Real Madrid tomorrow.

The paper claims Eriksson said he is good friends with Beckham and would phone him and convince him to join him at Aston Villa.

Still's response: "I have no recollection of Sven saying Beckham will come back to England tomorrow - if he said that, it was clearly a joke.

"Prior to these discussions, there had been zero contact between Sven and any player in England about this whole Aston Villa thing because it was never on the horizon."

The News of the World spoke to BBC Radio Five Live on Sunday to state that it stands by its story.

Interview: Sven-Goran Eriksson's agent Athole Still


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