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Page last updated at 19:41 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Sven-Goran Eriksson forgoes 2.5m owed by Notts County

Former Notts County director of football Sven-Goran Eriksson
Eriksson came in after Munto Finance took over Notts County last summer

Sven-Goran Eriksson has written off £2.5m owed to him by Notts County to help the club in its battle to survive.

Eriksson, who resigned as the club's director of football on Thursday, was due to be paid for the remaining four-and-half years on his contract.

His gesture should help County in their bid to clear debts of almost £4m.

But, a day after buying the League Two outfit for £1, new owner Ray Trew said County may yet go into administration if further liabilities are uncovered.

Former England coach Eriksson said he decided to leave without seeking the money owed to him to aid the club's fight for survival.

"Time was short, and in the end I signed the agreement to leave because the alternative would maybe have been for the club to disappear," said the Swede.


"I don't want to be the man to take Notts County into administration, that's why I signed the agreement.

"I am very sorry because I like the club and everyone there - they are very nice, very genuine people.

"I did feel personal responsibility - I know some of the players wouldn't be there if I was not. I stayed on as long as I could because of the players, the coaching staff and the fans."

Trew described Eriksson as an "absolute gentleman" but suggested his gesture might not be enough to get the Magpies back on an even keel.

"In the period in which I have been in discussions with Notts, which is about three or four weeks, the debts have risen by £1m," he told the Nottingham Evening Post.

"It was disclosed to me on Monday they stood at £3.9m but there might be other skeletons in the cupboard, so I have got accountants going into the club today.

"If the debt remains as it was disclosed to me we will ride the storm. If it is greater I will have to re-evaluate, but administration will be a last resort."

County are faced with a wind-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill for £324,000.

Their priority, according to Trew, is to pay that off by Friday 19 February and then take Notts County into the Championship within three years.

"Our short-term plans are to bring some stability to the club," he explained. "I will make cuts where I can, I certainly believe the administration staff is over-manned. I'm not prepared to discuss my personal finances.

"But I will support the club and put it on a sustainable financial footing. Notts County has got to live in the real world, unfortunately it hasn't been. There is going to be investment, we're not going in there to asset strip.

"Our ambition is to get promoted this season and to get the club into the Championship. I think we can get there in three years, four maximum, and that is not pie in the sky, that is an achievable target.

"The club's debts didn't put me off. Don't get me wrong there is a big job ahead. The biggest problem is on the football side because we have a transfer embargo because of the insolvency proceedings."

Trew purchased County from chairman Peter Trembling on Thursday and Eriksson has taken up an offer to continue in a non-active role as joint life president.

The former England manager came in after Middle Eastern consortium Munto Finance took over the club last summer with promises of a five-year plan to take County to the Premier League.

Sol Campbell was the biggest signing as a host of new players joined the club but the new backers pulled out and Trembling took over in December.

New chief executive Jim Rodwell said Eriksson's post would not be filled in the short to medium term but he praised to the Swede's contribution.

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see also
New Notts owner as Eriksson exits
12 Feb 10 |  Notts County
Notts County deny new cash crisis
04 Feb 10 |  Notts County
Notts County tax deadline boost
27 Jan 10 |  Notts County
Notts County seal investment deal
26 Jan 10 |  Notts County
Notts County takeover is approved
20 Oct 09 |  Notts County
Notts County takeover completed
14 Jul 09 |  Notts County
Lincoln chairman wary of takeover
02 Aug 06 |  Lincoln

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