Sam Allardyce’s tenure as the England manager has been terminated after 67 days in charge following allegations he had offered advice on how to circumvent the Football Association’s rules on player transfers.
Allardyce, who had suggested the national
manager’s role was his “dream job” on his appointment as Roy Hodgson’s successor in July, has left his position by mutual consent after two months and one game, the World Cup qualifying win over Slovakia.
He and his agent, Mark Curtis, attended a meeting with the FA’s chairman, Greg Clarke, and the chief executive, Martin Glenn, at Wembley stadium yesterday with the hierarchy having been left dismayed by comments the 61-year-old had made to undercover reporters from the Daily Telegraph.
An FA statement read: “The FA can confirm Sam Allardyce has left his position as England manager. Allardyce’s conduct, as reported today, was inappropriate of the England manager. He accepts he made a significant error of judgment and has apologised. However, due to the serious nature of his actions, the FA and Allardyce have mutually agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect.
“This is not a decision that was taken lightly but the FA’s priority is to protect the wider interests of the game and maintain the highest standards of conduct in football.
"The manager of the England men’s senior team is a position which must demonstrate strong leadership and show respect for the integrity of the game at all times. “Gareth Southgate will take charge of the men’s senior team for the next four matches against Malta, Slovenia, Scotland and Spain while the FA begins its search for the new England manager. The FA wishes Sam well in the future.”
Allardyce, who was contracted through to the 2018 World Cup finals, had been filmed appearing to offer advice to the undercover reporters on how to circumvent the FA’s rules on player transfers.
The Daily Telegraph released the relevant transcripts from two meetings, held in Manchester and London over the past month, to the FA with a contrite Allardyce understood to have conceded his position had been left untenable.
Southgate had been reluctant to take up the helm in the summer, when he considered himself to be lacking in the relevant experience for the job, but will stand in with just five days remaining before Allardyce was expected to announce his squad for the forthcoming games.
The former Sunderland, Bolton and West Ham manager, accompanied by Curtis and his financial adviser Shane Moloney, had been recorded commenting on a variety of subjects from England players to regulations, Hodgson and the FA’s decision to redevelop Wembley stadium.
Iit was his comments on third-party ownership, and whether he was offering advice on bypassing “ridiculous” FA and FIFA rules, which have caused real alarm. He is filmed telling the undercover reporters, posing as businessmen, it was “not a problem” to get around FA rules imposed in 2008 that prevent parties “owning” players’ economic rights. Fifa has since adopted a similar stance.
He stated an unnamed group had been “doing it for years” and “you can still get around it” suggesting they employ the player’s agents to compensate for the fact they are no longer allowed to profit from each transfer directly. “You get a percentage of the player’s agent’s fee that the agent pays to you, the company, because he’s done that new deal at the club again or they sell him on, and you’re not getting a part of the transfer fee any more, because you can’t do that,” he is filmed explaining. “But, you get, because of the size of the contracts now, the contract will be worth £30mn, £40mn, at 10% and you’ve done a deal with the agent where you’re getting 5% of the agent’s fee, which is massive for doing about two hours’ work.”
Allardyce earned around £3mn-a-year, plus bonuses on the contract he signed in July that was to run up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and appeared to be using his position to negotiate a £400,000 deal to address investors in a south-east Asia firm. The England manager had stressed he would “have to run it past the powers that be” before committing to any deal.
Sam Allardyce and the FA felt his position was untenable after he was caught making a series of controversial comments in an embarrassing newspaper sting. Manager’s England tenure lasted a solitary game and 67 days. (Reuters)