Date: 15th January 2006 at 10:25am
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Well, even when Aston Villa don’t do anything wrong themselves, we still end up like a soap opera!

This time the News of the World set up England manager Sven Goran Eriksson. A journalist pretended to be a wealthy Arab businessman and Sven was asked to be his advisor. According to the paper Sven, as the conversation with the ‘fake Sheikh’ warmed up, claimed he would be willing to quit as England coach after the World Cup and consider managing Aston Villa.

The reporter – Mazher Mahmood – apparently was wanting to know which clubs would be a good target. Having asked if Sven would have an interest in managing the club should the ‘Skeikh’ succeed in the ‘takeover’ Sven allegedly said:

‘Everything is possible, but only at the end of the season.’

The report also claims that Eriksson (who earns £3million a year with England – £3million a year???!!) wanted £5million a year to attract him to Villa and that he thought the club could be bought for around £25million. That valuation shows a deep ignorance in the club when a £40million bid by Ray Ranson failed and the current attempt to gain control from Doug is looking to cost around £64million.

It gets even sillier though. Sven says that he would help persuade David Beckham to join Villa suggesting the player was unhappy at Real and wasn’t winning anything.

Shame the reports of a takeover have had to resort to jokes now. Mind you, maybe a ‘real’ Sheikh will now see the report (I’m sure they all have the News of the World!) and think what a good idea it would be. Funny thing is, it would be an excellent idea, the club is ripe for takeover and has the platform to be massive (again).

The Fa are said to be investigating the report and have said: “We want to reflect on the article in full before we make any formal comment.”