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BEHIND THE HEADLINES: Civil suit names property in Barbados

Tony Best

BEHIND THE HEADLINES: Civil suit names property in Barbados

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If or when the civil law suit comes to trial in England, Barbados is expected to figure prominently in the proceedings.
A?former England football manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, is suing a former financial adviser, Samir Khan, alleging that he lost the equivalent of BDS$31.2 million and some of it involved property at Royal Westmoreland on Barbados’ platinum coast.
Erikson, who was paid millions when he became the first foreigner to manage England in 2001 – a stint that lasted until 2006 – contends his financial adviser caused him to lose the large sum through negligent investments which included a proposed development of two plots of land at the Royal Westmoreland Golf Club.
And in a recent interview with The Independent newspaper of London, Eriksson alleged the former adviser misspent his fortune but was quick to insist that he wasn’t destitute though he has been forced to sell valuable property in his native Sweden in order to pay his debts.
“You know, I never hate anyone in my life,” Eriksson told the newspaper.
“I don’t think I have many enemies but I hate Samir Khan because you can’t treat people like he has done. He’s probably the only person on earth I hate. I feel let down, angry and disappointed because I trusted this man for many, many years. I gave him too much freedom. I gave him all the authorities he needed to take care of my economy.”
The former England manager alleges in court papers that some of his money was used to finance a property for Khan and his own family in Barbados as well as to “earn secret profits that have been paid to himself”. A supposed investment involved BDS$14.8 million for land and BDS$9.2 million for a building in Barbados.
He is also alleging that the adviser “misappropriated money for a variety of improper purposes, including unsecured loans to other companies for secret profits” and “undertaking loss-making speculations on foreign currency markets”.
Khan has vehemently denied the allegation describing them as “nonsense,” while asserting that Eriksson was an “astute and worldly-wise” businessman who was “very much motivated by the idea of making money”.
When asked what he thought Khan did with the money, Eriksson said: “I think he has spent it.”
The former England football boss has fallen far from the pinnacle of international soccer. He is now the manager of the Chinese Super League Club, Guangzhou R&F. He is the only big name manager who has worked in nine different countries – Sweden, Portugal, Italy, England, Mexico, Cote d’Ivoire, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and China. Between 1979 and 2000, the Swede won 17 major football trophies as a manager but was unable to lift a cup over England’s head during his stint with the three lions. He managed England in two FIFA World Cups in 2002 and 2006.
After leaving the England job, he managed Manchester City, Mexico, Notts County, Ivory Coast, Leicester City, BEC Tero, Al Nasr and now Guangzhou, earning tens of millions of dollars.
In his conversation with a reporter, Eriksson confirmed that he had lost £10 million (BDS$31m), saying, “Yes that’s right, ten million. For most people in the world it’s a huge amount of money and it is even for me.
“Even if I was paid well with the jobs I had its big, big money. I’m not bankrupt. I still have some money. The big problem was the cash when you don’t have a job, which I didn’t have for a while. Because Samir (got) me a lot of bank mortgages, I had to pay them. I needed cash. So I’m starting to sell. I have some properties, which I am going to sell. One I have already sold. I’m selling important parts of my life. I have another property in Sweden I have to sell.”
There is little doubt that he was paid handsomely when he managed the England team and some of the leading European football clubs, including Benfica, Fiorentina and Lazio which he took to the European Cup Winners cup in 1999, just before he accepted the lucrative offer to manage England in 2001.
“It was said that I took England for the money,” he insisted. “Absolutely not. I took it because it is the biggest football job in the world, the finest job you can have,” he said. “I enjoyed it every day. I don’t regret being in England. I was extremely sad when it was over.”
Published reports indicate he was paid BDS$21 million in pay-offs from England, Manchester City and Mexico.