Not so long back, it was a dream to be earning in American dollars. However, going by Swedish table tennis coach Anders Johansson's statements, the dream has turned into a nightmare. The 46-year-old Johansson, who was set to become the national coach for a year, has refused to take up the job.
Show me the money
Why, one might ask? “The salary offered was to be in US dollars. The US dollar is losing 25 per cent a year to the Swedish currency, where I'm paying my bills! US dollars or currencies connected to the US dollar can be worth zero any day as the United States is in technical bankruptcy!” said Johansson in an email to Hindustan Times.
He was being offered $5000 per month, free accommodation and internal travel expenses for a year. In Indian currency, he would have earned roughly Rs 2.25 lakh but in Swedish Kronas, it would be 33,000 every month.
The one-year contract had also played on the renowned coach's mind, as there was a risk of not getting an interesting job after India's Olympic campaign in 2012. “I hope to start working as the sports chief-cum-manager of the Swedish national table tennis association in a long term-agreement, beginning August 1,” Johansson, who had earlier been associated with former world champion Jorgen Persson, and more recently with Europe's top club Ochsenhausen of Germany, said.
When contacted, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) said that Johansson had refused the job on Tuesday citing family commitments. “He has a very small child and can't leave his family,” said TTFI secretary-general Dhanraj Choudhary. “We had allowed him to come with his family, but after reconsidering the offer, Johansson refused.”
With the Asian Championships slated in Beirut in September and the Olympic qualifiers fast approaching in April next year, one wonders who will come forward. “We have two or three options. Johansson has suggested the name of compatriot Erik Lindh and we shall approach him soon,” stated Choudhary. For the record, Lindh (47) is the 1988 Seoul Olympic bronze-medallist.