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Sven-Göran Eriksson rumored to be Guangzhou R&F’s next manager; GM says not a done deal

After sacking Sergio Farias a few weeks ago, Guangzhou R&F look set to announce Sven Goran-Erikkson as their next manager. Reports out of the Beijing Times are that the club and Erikkson are very close to signing an agreement which would see the Swede earn in excess of US$3 million a year.

Despite having not been seen by anybody, the paper says that Sven first visited Guangzhou for negotiations on May 21st, just days after Farias was fired and that while the club originally felt his demands were too high, in the end they acquiesced. The article states that Erikkson will arrive in Guangzhou tonight and be unveiled on Wednesday. It also quotes an unnanmed source at the club, but today in Soccer News the club’s GM, Zhang Bin, denies they have a candidate wrapped up, only stating that Erikkson is the front runner.

Sven is most famous for winning the Serie A with Lazio as well as managing England for five years. As of late, he has been very nomadic and rumored to be connected to a number of different jobs. Last year, he attended a match in Guangzhou and was connected to a footballing project in Yunnan province that has since stalled. He most recently served as technical director at Al Nasr, a position he held for six months and resigned from yesterday.

Guangzhou R&F surprised many with their debut performance in the top flight of Chinese football last season, but have come back down to earth this year. They drew against Changchun Yatai on Saturday and currently have 12 points in 12 matches and are in 13th place. The club’s star foreigner, Yakubu, has been rumored to be part of a change room mutiny against Farias this year and was reported to laugh when he found out the Brazilian was fired. Yakubu and Eriksson are said to be on good terms that date back to their mutual time spent at Leiceter City in 2011.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere.

He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years.

Chemers’ credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers.

For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Donald Ross

    03/06/2013 at 16:07

    Saw this report on Sina earlier, I wonder who got the story first?

    Like Lee Jang Soo and Arnold of the Central Coast Mariners, Sven has previously denied he was in talks but if he has really resigned from Al Nasr then he could well be coming to Guangzhou. I’d still much rather get Lee Jang Soo but at least, if this is true, a decision is imminent.

    • bcheng

      03/06/2013 at 17:41

      It does look suspicious that Sven just resigned, but then again, the day before he resigned, the club’s board fired their manager, Walter Zenga, so things in Dubai were a little chaotic anyways.

  2. Yiddo Huayi

    03/06/2013 at 16:37

    Putting aside Lippi who has so many resources behind him, is this obsession with foreign managers really justified?

    In an earlier post I tongue-in-cheek suggested that Lee Jang Soo was a successful local who seemed to be overlooked, but really – he virtually is local given his experience in the CSL.

    Other than Gao Hongbo are there any other Chinese/Asian coaches in CSL or China One?

    • bcheng

      03/06/2013 at 17:26

      Zhu Jiong (Shenxin) and Ma Lin (Liaoning) are still going strong, flying the flag for Chinese managers. Other than those two & Gao, with Li Ming, Dalian’s caretaker manager, replaced by a foreigner today, the only remaining manager is Guizhou’s Gong Lei, who is also a “caretaker”. It is somewhat unfortunate because the season started off with two more non-caretaker managers, but both resigned. Of course there are also 2 Asian managers, Chang Woe Ryong is going strong at Qingdao, and Takeshi Okada is doing alright in Hangzhou.

      The China League is much better, something like 10 or 11 of 16 are Chinese, plus there is one Korean.

      • Yiddo Huayi

        03/06/2013 at 17:45

        Thanks bcheng. I suppose if you have the RMB you may as well throw it at whatever takes your fancy.

        And I suppose that foreign coaches may introduce different concepts and methods that may benefit Chinese football. But I don’t think they will hang around for more than a few seasons and so wonder how long-lasting those benefits might be.

        Anyway, good luck to SGE if he takes up the job with Fuli.

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