Vol. 5 Num 591 Thu. January 26, 2006  

Eriksson slams salary critics

Sven-Goran Eriksson on Wednesday hit back at those who claim he has not been worth his money.

The England head coach will step down after the World Cup in Germany, two years before his contract is due to expire.

But the Swede warned that the Football Association (FA) will have to pay his successor a similar salary to his own earnings - around 4.5 million pounds (eight million dollars) annually.

"I never understood in this country that I'm accused of earning too much money. I could find at least 10 others who earn more than I do," said Eriksson.

"You have to pay that money for someone like Fabio Capello, Carlo Ancelotti, Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger."

"When I was at Lazio I was on a certain amount of money and when I started in England I was on more or less the same."

Eriksson also claimed the FA will not have to pay for his early departure.

Should Eriksson not get another job paying the same salary straight away then the FA would have to pay compensation to match his England earnings.

But Eriksson said: "Hopefully it will not cost the FA one penny. You can't be sure of absolutely everything in life but I am quite confident it will not cost the FA."

The Swede said that he would not allow negotiations on a new job to interfere with World Cup preparations.

"If I want to stay in football I cannot wait until July 9 to look for a new job, that's obvious.

"I'm free (a free agent) but I will not be sitting talking to people when I am supposed to be watching football in England. It will not interfere with my preparations."

As for the qualities his successor will need, Eriksson said a thick skin would be essential.

He said: "He needs to be a good coach, knowledgeable about football and his skin must be very hard - like a rhinoceros'."