League give green light to County owners

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The Independent Online

The Football League have confirmed that Notts County's owners have passed its fit and proper persons test. This came as an additional boost to the League Two club on the day director of football Sven Goran Eriksson declared he was not interested in becoming Sweden's manager.

County were taken over by Swiss-based Middle East consortium Munto Finance in the summer, but the identities of the well-heeled investors remained a mystery.

For several weeks they have been providing the Football League with information regarding who is bankrolling the club, and they have since been able to attract the likes of Eriksson and Sol Campbell to the lowest tier of the league.

The Football League deferred the decision on whether to approve the takeover at a meeting in London earlier this month but, having been furnished with further details about the new owners, it has now been ratified. A statement from the Football League read: "The Football League has confirmed that Notts County Football Club has complied with its regulations on fit and proper persons.

"This decision is based on the extensive disclosure provided by the club with regard to its ownership structure. This structure is complicated, and features both offshore entities and discretionary trusts.

"Together with the initial hesitation of the club's ultimate owners to identify themselves, this made for a lengthy and at times difficult process.

"However, following greater co-operation from the club more recently, the League is now in a position to confirm that it is in possession of the appropriate details for those individuals that exercise control over the club.

"The League has also noted the club's announcement on Monday, 12 October that its consultancy arrangement with Russell King has been terminated.

"It is a matter for the club to determine what ownership information it makes public."

The Sweden FA chairman Lars-Ake Lagrell suggested Eriksson pulled out of the running for the vacant Sweden coaching role at the request of County. Eriksson had been one of a number of names linked with the post following the resignation of Lars Lagerback 10 days ago.

"Last week we made contact with 'Svennis', who is one of the people we thought could be a possibility for the job as national team coach," Lagrell confirmed. "We have had good discussions but he has now decided that, with regards to his contract with Notts County, there is no possibility of him taking charge of the national team now."

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