Humiliated Sam Allardyce out as England manager after 67 days in charge
Big Sam pays the price for inappropriate conduct after being caught in a newspaper sting
Sam Allardyce’s reign as England manager came to a humiliating end on Tuesday as he departed after just 67 days in charge following his controversial comments in a newspaper sting.
Allardyce’s reign was sensationally brought to a close as he paid the price for indiscreetly talking with undercover Daily Telegraph reporters posing as Far East businessmen.
“Allardyce’s conduct, as reported today, was inappropriate of the England manager,” the FA said in a statement. “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.”
The 61-year-old was secretly filmed giving advice on how to circumnavigate transfer rules, criticised the FA’s decision to rebuild Wembley and mocked his England predecessor Roy Hodgson.
Allardyce, appointed England manager in July on a £3 million (US$3.9 million, 3.5 million euros)-a-year contract, also agreed to travel to Singapore and Hong Kong as an ambassador for their fictitious firm for a fee of £400,000.
The 61-year-old Allardyce was only hired on July 22 and had a contract through 2018. In charge for 67 days, he is the shortest-serving England manager.
“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 FA statement said.
“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.”
Allardyce issued his own statement via the FA website that left little doubt he had been desperate to somehow remain in charge.
“It was a great honour for me to be appointed back in July and I am deeply disappointed at this outcome,” he said.
“This afternoon, I met with Greg Clarke and Martin Glenn and offered a sincere and wholehearted apology for my actions.
“Although it was made clear during the recorded conversations that any proposed arrangements would need The FA’s full approval, I recognise I made some comments which have caused embarrassment.
“As part of today’s meeting, I was asked to clarify what I said and the context in which the conversations took place. I have co-operated fully in this regard.
“I also regret my comments with regard to other individuals.”
Gareth Southgate, the manager of England’s under-21 side, will take charge of the senior team’s next four matches - against Malta, Slovenia, Scotland and Spain - while the FA searches for a new coach.
After opening World Cup qualifying with a victory in Slovakia, England play Malta on October 8 and Slovenia on October 11.
The Telegraph published its undercover investigation in its Tuesday edition, under the front-page headline: “England manager for sale.”
Allardyce met people he reportedly thought were representatives of an Asian firm.
In a grainy, edited video, he is recorded as saying it was “not a problem” to circumvent FA rules that stop third parties from owning the economic rights of players.
Fifa has banned third-party ownership as a threat to the game’s integrity because investors force transfers to make a profit.
“You can still get around it,” the former Sunderland and West Ham manager said. “I mean obviously the big money’s here.”
Allardyce told the undercover reporters that his predecessor Roy Hodgson sent players “all to sleep”. Allardyce also mimicked Hodgson’s speech impediment.
He also questioned why Prince William, who is president of the FA, did not appear at last week’s London launch of the 2020 European Championship. Wembley Stadium will host the semi-finals and final of the tournament.
“It would have been nice if he’d have turned up but he obviously had more, much busier things on,” Allardyce said.