The English national football team are once again without a manager, with Sam Allardyce leaving the post after just 67 days and one solitary game in charge.
Following crunch talks with the English FA’s hierarchy at Wembley Stadium today, it has been announced that Allardyce leaves under mutual consent following damaging comments made in an undercover sting by national newspaper the ‘Daily Telegraph’.
Under 21 manager Gareth Southgate steps in with immediate effect for the next four national team games.
A statement from the FA read: “The FA can confirm that 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 judgement 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 whilst The FA begins its search for the new England manager. The FA wishes Sam well in the future.”
With the piece published yesterday evening by the media outlet, it has taken under 24 hours for the decision to come to fruition.
The ex-England manager had been seen offering advice on how to get around FA rules on third-party player ownership rules to journalists posing as Far East businessmen, stating a group had been doing it ‘for years’.
He went on to mock his predecessor Roy Hodgson’s speech impediment, former coach Gary Neville’s influence on tactics at Euro 2016 and his employers, the FA’s handling of the reconstruction of Wembley Stadium.
Additionally, he was seen to be using his newly-acquired position as England manager to earn £400,000 as a speaker for a group of Far East investors. His England contract was worth £3m-year, plus bonuses and was set to run to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Interestingly, it is not the first time an England boss has been targeted by undercover journalists. Infamously, the term ‘fake sheikh’ was created in 2006 as the now defunct ‘News of the World’, set former coach Sven-Goran Eriksson up for a pratfall, as he was wined and dined, prompting him to spill secrets about his post-England future, before discussing the personal lives of a number of national team players.
The betting markets place Englishmen Alan Pardew (3/1), Steve Bruce (6/1) and Eddie Howe (8/1) as the favourites for the vacant position, but the story of the shortest reign of England’s managerial position looks to continue on and on, with the ‘Telegraph’ stating the Allardyce story is just the start of a number of stories in its investigations into corruption within the sport.