Eriksson finds new role in lower ranks of English football
AFP/The Local · 22 Jul 2009, 10:45
Published: 22 Jul 2009 10:45 GMT+02:00
The move is a substantial step down for the 61-year-old Swede, who is fresh off a disappointing stint as manager of Mexico’s national side.
But he insisted money is not the motivation for taking on the new job with the tiny League Two club.
Former England coach Eriksson has agreed a five-year contract worth a reported £2 million pounds ($3.3 million) a year to help County rise from the bottom division of English football to the Premier League.
The Swede's stunning move to the world's oldest football club has been funded by Munto Finance, a Middle East consortium backed by Dubai billionaire Abdullah Bin Saeed Al Thani.
But Eriksson, recently sacked as Mexico coach, was adamant that his salary wasn't the decisive factor in his arrival at Meadow Lane, although he will also be a shareholder in the club.
"If it was for the money I could have gone elsewhere easily for much more money. I am not here for the money, I am here for the challenge," Eriksson said at his first press conference on Wednesday.
"I'm not here for the weather or the city. If I want that I go to Italy or wherever. I am here for the big challenge. That is the truth.
"I know it is the oldest league club in the world. They were in the top division the year before the Premier League started. It hasn't been that good since then but we are here to change that. The dream is to be in the Premier League."
Eriksson was quick to dismiss suggestions that his commitment to County will be less than 100 percent.
The former Manchester City boss will move to Nottingham and plans to attend virtually every match while he oversees signings, the development of a worldwide scouting system and helps County move to a new training ground.
"I will be based in Nottingham. It would not be possible to do the job living in London or Sweden," he said.
"When my agent first asked if I would be interested in Notts County I said I'm not sure about that. But after listening to the owners and seeing the project I became interested and here I am."
Eriksson admitted he doesn't know any of County's players or their rivals in League Two, but he revealed that the club wanted him because they believe his global contacts will attract top-class players as the team moves up the leagues.
"I don't know the players here and I don't know the players in League Two at all," he said.
"But in international football I know a lot of agents and players. Since this news came out my phone is hot all the time asking how much we can pay for players. We can't pay Premier Leaguie salaries to players in League Two though, we have to be sensible.
"To start with we have to try to find new players because if we want to leave League Two you have to have good players."
Eriksson, who will be joined by former England assistant Tord Grip, will work with current manager Ian McParland rather than take complete control of first team training and tactics.
After spending most of his managerial career working at glamour clubs like Lazio, Benfica and Sampdoria, Eriksson is working at the lowest level of the game.
He is confident he can cope with the culture shock even though the task of lifting County, who finished 19th in League Two last season and have an average gate of 4,445, is the most daunting of his career.
"I always said I wanted to come back to the Premier League. I have chosen a difficult way to do it!" Eriksson said. "It will take some years, but speaking to the investors I am sure they will do it.
"It is the biggest football challenge of my life to take the club to the Premier League. That is the target. That is why I am here. I am looking forward to it.
"It is going to be different for sure but I look forward to that. You have to adapt but you must have the target that you want to rise out of League Two as quickly as possible.
"I am here to build up a club. We are starting from the almost the bottom and we will try to take it the whole way.
"I want to be in football for many years yet. I am still hungry and I still love it. This job is something a little bit new, but let’s try it."