Eriksson generosity ‘saved Notts County’

Swede praised by club after he writes off contract worth £2.5m

Sven Goran Eriksson has been credited with saving Notts County by writing off contractual obligations worth around £2.5m when he stepped down as the club's director of football.

The former England coach told the club's new owners he would waive the remainder of his five-year contract rather than see County go under and earned praise last night for putting the club's survival ahead of his own financial interests.

"Sven has been a gentleman throughout this and his only concern was for the future of the football club," the newly installed chief executive, Jim Rodwell, said. "He had a five-year contract but he has graciously agreed to forfeit nearly everything.

"He understands the situation we inherited and he told us that the most important thing to him was to see the football club survive. I could not tell you the exact figure but we could not have got close to meeting the sum involved."

Rodwell said that he and new owner Ray Trew, the Lincoln-based businessman who paid a nominal £1 to take control on Thursday, fear that the club's debts could amount to much more than the widely quoted £1.5m.

"We have heard figures of £1.5m, £2.5m, even £5m but it could be considerably more because the club is burning money," he said.

"We will not know until we have had a close look over the next three to four days. We were asked to step in to save the club so we could not take the due diligence process as far as we wanted to before we made the commercial decision to buy the club."

But Rodwell said there was no possibility that they would walk away from the deal, and confirmed that the £324,000 owed to HM Revenue and Customs, the subject of two winding-up orders, would be paid by the 24 February deadline.

"We can't pull out, nor would we want to," he said. "I cannot say that we could easily deal with any level of debt but we have made a commitment. The deal is done."

County are said also to owe almost £100,000 to brewers Marston's and £37,000 in legal costs to Nottingham Rugby Club. Other creditors include Nottinghamshire Police for match- day security, while some obligations under player bonus schemes have not been met.

It is the level of contracts agreed with players such as Kasper Schmeichel and Lee Hughes that the club will have to address in the longer term. A dozen new signings arrived around the time Eriksson was appointed last July, pushing salaries above the 60 per cent of turnover set down as a limit under League rules.

Rodwell said that little could be done on that score, at least before the summer, but that the club would have to be run on a more realistic budget and carped at the ambitions plans laid out by Munto Finance, the Swiss-based front for the Middle East consortium that bought the club last summer with plans to spend between £25m and £50m to take Notts County to the Premier League, but whose money subsequently turned out to be illusory.

"We looked on from afar as Munto made their rash promises and always thought it would end in tears," he said. "We haven't got business plans to get to the Championship or the Premiership. We just need to get to the end of this season. It will be hard work and there will be a certain amount of pain."

He said that the caretaker manager Dave Kevan, the former assistant to Ian McParland and Hans Backe, would probably remain in charge for the rest of the season. "He's been doing a good job so I can't see any reason why that should not be the case," he said.

Eriksson said his farewells to the playing staff yesterday but is expected to be at their FA Cup fifth-round match at Fulham tomorrow along with the departing executive chairman, Peter Trembling, who plans to seek recompense from Munto Finance for his personal losses.

"Nathan Willetts [one of the Munto group] was a friend of mine for 10 years but he has disappeared off the face of the earth," he said. "I've left the club in safe hands but what's happened is Munto's fault. If we can ever track them down I intend to take recourse."

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories