FOOTBALL: Whispering Campaign to Discredit Keegan Is a Total Disgrace SAYS MICK CHANNON

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Byline: Darren LEWIS

FA chiefs Adam Crozier and David Davies have been accused of smearing Kevin Keegan to divert attention from Sven Goran Eriksson becoming England's first foreign coach.

The blast comes from Keegan's former England strike partner Mick Channon.

"The FA have obviously decided to bring in the old spin-doctoring techniques," he said. "If that is the right way for football in 2000, I am glad to be looking at it from a long way off."

Chief executive Crozier has also been warned that his hatchet job on Keegan will make him many enemies within the game.

Channon, now a successful racehorse trainer, hit out at what he described as the FA's "hidden agenda".

He said: "Crozier will not easily be forgiven by those of us who know Kevin, know he always gives 100 per cent and know he would never leave any of his players on the outside looking in.

"They have a new man. A Swede, can you believe it? So the plan is to make him look even better by trying to reduce the qualities of the man he replaces.

"They obviously think the Swede is the man to change things. They are living in cloud cuckoo land.

"What has enraged me so much is about Crozier in this one is that he is quite clearly trying to humiliate Kevin."

Speaking on website FA Premier.com, Channon said: "Has it really come to this? Do you have to rubbish the man who has just left?

"There are three things you will always have in England squads. Players who gamble, those who like to relax with a beer and those who like to jolly things along for fun.

"None of these enjoyments have ever stopped England winning a football match, to my knowledge. So people like Crozier should think again about the reasons."

Within two days of Eriksson's appointment stories of high-stakes gambling and deep divisions had been leaked by former Saatchi and Saatchi man Crozier. …