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Sven-Goran Eriksson denies any interest in taking over Petrolul Ploiesti

May 24, 2012 3 comments

Eriksson’s name getting used in Romania for business and political reasons. Photo from Daily Mail.

Let me give you the facts straight away. Two days ago, the following story “leaked” from Petrolul’s offices: “A foreign investment fund ran, among others, by Sven-Goran Eriksson, is interested in taking over the club”. A day later, when it was all still in the dark, the manager Valeriu Rachita, who had already announced his intention to leave this summer, looked for a stronger effect and came out himself with the story on national television. Then, local media presented a written (and already registered with the Local Council of Ploiesti) letter of intent, signed by a certain Nicola Imputato, speaking on behalf of Seamed, an investment bank with offices in London and Auckland. Of course, Eriksson was the name that was going to get everyone’s attention, the most important piece of the puzzle!

All this has been all over the news in the past two days and who could have missed it? Nobody, really! Unfortunately, though, you get the same answer if you browse through the media channels – both local and national – to find out if someone really checks such a story before selling it to the fans. Nobody…

Thanks to Jamie Jackson and David Hills, from The Guardian, who were kind enough to give me a hand, the story reached the coach, who firmly denied any involvement. So, why was the Swede’s name involved in this story in the first place? For business or political interest? My guess is for both :-)

It’s possible that the Italian guy who sent the letter wanted to get the attention of the authorities – although the club that survived in recent years only thanks to public funds now belongs to a businessman – and Eriksson’s famous enough for his recent interest in all sorts of deals, as long as the right amount of money is at stake. It’s also possible that, with the current mayor of Ploiesti, Andrei Volosevici, involved in a desperate campaign to get himself re-elected wasn’t surprised at all by the arrival of this attractive proposal for the future of the club. He will want every vote and football fans would love the idea of challenging for the title one season after barely avoiding relegation. And, with the vote scheduled on the 10th of June, this kind of story does come up at the right time, doesn’t it?

Romanian readers can follow up on the story here and here.

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