England boss, Sven-Goran Eriksson may escape with nothing more than a slap on the wrist from Football Association chiefs, but is that best for the beautiful game?
Have you heard the one about the football coach whose job is on the line after he had an affair with a secretary?
Ridiculous isn’t it. Yet that is the exact situation England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson finds himself in after his liaison with secretary Faria Alam.
An emergency meeting of the Football Association will decide whether the Swede is guilty of gross misconduct and whether or not he should keep his £4 million-a-year job.
His detractors claim that it is a question of whether he deliberately misled his employers over whether the relationship had, or was, taking place.
What they appear to have forgotten is that his ability to seduce the fairer sex has does not affect how well he does his job.
Eriksson has a well-documented policy of saying nothing about his private life in public.
At least he did have before he felt “forced” to issue a statement claiming that he had not “categorically confirmed or denied” having a relationship with Faria Alam, nor had he been consulted about the denial of an affair issued by the FA.
In short, it is now a question of who said what to whom. In effect, the England coach has challenged his bosses to prove that he is a liar.
But all this is an unimportant, inconsequential irrelevance, regardless of who Ms Alam has had relationships with inside Soho Square.
Who Sven-Goran Eriksson socialises with is by the by. This episode is detracting from the real issue: how good is Eriksson at his job?
Some have already begun to question Eriksson’s tactics on the pitch. After England’s exit from the European Championship, many suggested he should change his tactics.
But results on the pitch are the one and only area in which Eriksson’s ability to do the job should be judged.
There, he hasn’t done at all badly. England have only lost three competitive games since Eriksson took over in January 2001.
They have made the last eight of the last two major championships. Progress has been made in the last three years.
The only thing that the FA should be worrying about is whether that progress continues up to the next World Cup.
If the men who sit on the FA board that will decide the fate of their coach have one iota of common sense at all, they will realise that the only possible justification for sacking Sven-Goran Eriksson is poor results for the England team.
With the possibility of legal action already being talked of in some quarters if Eriksson is sacked, failure to realise this may see this saga being resolved not at FA headquarters, but in the courts.