Sven-Goran Eriksson says he had signed a deal to manage Manchester United back in 2002
In a newly released book, the Swede has revealed that he was in position to take over as manager of Manchester United from Sir Alex Ferguson and had even signed an agreement as part of it.
This was in the backdrop of the uncertain times that surrounded Old Trafford in 2002, when Ferguson had initially announced his plans to retire at the end of the season. That was before his friends and family forced him to reconsider his decision and the Scot later came out and announced that he would indeed not be retiring.
Ferguson’s decision to not retire meant the vacancy which Eriksson had signed up for never arose and he continued in his role as England manager till 2006.
Writing in ‘Sven:My Story’, his autobiography, Eriksson reveals: “I knew it would be tricky. I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticised if I broke that contract. But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United.”
“A contract was signed — I was United’s new manager.”
Eriksson also states that the agent involved in the negotiations, Pini Zahnavi still has the contract signed by Eriksson in his possession.
It was widely reported at the time that Eriksson would indeed succeed Ferguson, but this is the first real confirmation of any sort on the matter, especially the details regarding the Swede signing a contract with United, when he had a four-year contract with the Football Association to manage England.