FA back Samson Sven

Last updated : 17 January 2006 By Norris Winter

Dying to take over

The Swede was duped by the Screw's Sheikh, and revealed he would consider becoming Villa boss if the Arab group succeeded in a possible takeover of the club. "Aston Villa is for sale," he said, before callously (©NOTW) suggesting that, "the chairman is an old man today. He's sick." The reporter then pointed out that he could not do both jobs and Sven, whose decision to wear skimpy khaki shorts was only just outshone by his more plentiful oral gaffs, answered: "No, but everything is possible. But only at the end of the season. I'm not joking."

Beckham u-bend

The 57-year-old, accompanied by his uptight agent Athole Still, offered to tap up David Beckham, and persuade him to leave Madrid to return to the Premiership with Villa, saying the team would "sell more shirts in one week than they did for the last ten years". The paper claims Eriksson said he would like a three-year deal similar to Jose Mourinho's £5m-a-year salary at Chelsea. Still accused the newspaper of "disgraceful entrapment" and made it clear that Eriksson is disgusted at the timing of events and hinted that they could take action against the article.

Sweet FA

But while the rest of us began laughing Eriksson was given the full backing of the FA, with a senior source telling the BBC his job was "not at risk in any way". A later statement on the FA's website said it could "confirm that England head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson continues to have the full support of the organisation". Meanwhile, Sven convinced no-one by saying he was "100 per cent committed" to England despite the newspaper quoting him as claiming he might leave his post if his team won the World Cup.