David Gold, who once said "I will kill myself" if the successor to Sven-Goran Eriksson was a foreigner, last night criticised the Football Association for offering Luiz Felipe Scolari the job as England head coach.

Gold, the Birmingham City chairman, has called the decision a "betrayal of Englishmen and England fans".

Scolari, the Portugal head coach who led Brazil to victory in the 2002 World Cup, is likely to take up the post after the 2006 World Cup final in Berlin on July 9. Eriksson will vacate the position on the same day.

Gold is not questioning Scolari's background and ability - there is no more decorated manager in world football - but the Birmingham co-owner is more interested in patriotism and pride.

The England team, Gold says, would be better served by having an Englishman in charge.

Gold opposed the appointment of Eriksson - and, given Eriksson's public-relations problems over the past five years, feels vindicated - and takes the same stance over Scolari.

"First of all, let me say that if I was voting for a world manager of the year, then I might vote for Mr Scolari who has a brilliant record," Gold said. "If and when he is made England manager, I will also give him 100 per cent backing in the same way as I always tried to do with Sven.

"But that is not my point. My point is that no matter how brilliant a coach someone from abroad may be, it is a betrayal of Englishmen and England fans. The majority of the England fans want an English manager.

"We want an English manager that we can relate to. We all support the England team and part of that is an English manager. I expect the players and the manager to be English."

Brian Barwick, the Football Association chief executive, flew to Lisbon on Wednesday after being given permission by the Portuguese FA to talk to Scolari. The Brazilian emerged as Eriksson's likely successor after the FA's five-man selection panel failed to settle on a British candidate.

The news has infuriated the League Managers' Association, whose chairman, Howard Wilkinson, is the former FA technical director.

Wilkinson, who has twice been caretaker manager, said: "I think it would be a popular decision, but I don't think in the long term it's a good decision. Everyone speaks well of him but it sends out the wrong message to English coaches."

Steve Bruce, a potential candidate two years ago, was not as riled as his chairman but was still in favour of an English manager.

"I said from the outset that it should go to an English-man," Bruce said. "If he does get the job, then I am sure that all of us working at this level will get behind him but if we go along with all these UEFA coaching badges and the Pro Licence and we are not going to give an Englishman a chance, I find that really disappointing.

"Would an Englishman get the Brazilian job? How is an Englishman going to get the chance to manage in Europe? There is not an Englishman in a top job in the country at the moment and that isn't very good."

Don Howe, the former England assistant head coach who played for West Bromwich Albion in the Fifties, sees more positives than negatives. "I suppose I'm like a lot of people in that we all thought Martin O'Neill, Sam Allardyce, Alan Curbishley or Steve McClaren could have done the job," Howe said.

"I don't know if Scolari is better but all you can do is go on reputation and he won the World Cup with Brazil and if he's good at handling experienced international players, with the big names they've got in Brazil, then so be it."

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