Day: July 21, 2009

Notts County Start, Presumably, As They Mean To Go On

The summer is traditionally known as “the silly season” in the press, but Notts County have pushed the silliness up by at least a few notches with the news that they are in negotiation with Sven Goran Eriksson over him taking over as their Director of Football. Whether a manager with such a high profile is necessary for a club that will be starting this season in League Two, but what is more concerning is that here again is a club with new ownership apparently making a decision that the best solution to the matter of how to get out of this league is to throw money around like it’s confetti. Eriksson, of course, will go anywhere if the price is right, which goes some way towards explaining why his last two managerial positions were at Manchester City and in charge of the Mexican national team. In recent years, however, holes have started to become apparent in the argument that he is one of the best coaches in Europe. After a degree of lionisation after he took the England job, he was ultimately found to be wanting. England’s turgid performances at the 2006 World Cup undid much of the goodwill that he had earned with the 5-1 in Munich against Germany in 2001 and a surprisingly swashbuckling display at the 2004 European Championships. Since then, however, his reputation has...

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Fraud, Derby County & A Tiny Bit Of Justice

It is not often that one can say with any degree of confidence that someone in football is a crook and have evidence to back it up, but the usual caveats do not apply in the cases of Jeremy Keith, Murdo McKay and Andrew McKenzie, formerly of Derby County, who were imprisoned last week over their involvement with the Championship club. Mackenzie and Mackay were both sentenced to three years in prison having being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the club. Keith was sentenced to 18 months having been convicted of false accounting. in addition to these three, their Monaco-based lawyer David Lowe was imprisoned for two years for money laundering. Keith, McKay and McKenzie have also been barred from acting as company directors. The charges related to the take-over of the club, in 2003. The allegation was that Keith, McKay and McKenzie had claimed £125,000 plus VAT each from the club without gaining that prior consent of the directors of the club for what seems to have been pretty spurious “consultancy services” at the time of the takeover. The “consultants” had been paid for apparently sourcing a £15m loan from a Panamanian company called the ABC Corporation, but this “fee” was funnelled out of the country and into an Isle of Man company called Streamline Management, which was owned by Lowe. This, however, may not even have...

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