Sam Allardyce’s tenure as England Manager ended after only 67 days on Tuesday night with the Football Association condemning him for ‘inappropriate’ conduct and a ‘serious error of judgment’ but still sending him away with a seven-figure pay-off.
The 61-year-old was summoned to Wembley on Tuesday after being the target of an embarrassing Daily Telegraph sting that concluded with the former Sunderland boss and his employers mutually agreeing to part company.
Allardyce was subjected to an intense interrogation by FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn, although Sportsmail understands Glenn and FA technical director Dan Ashworth were far less reluctant to lose the manager they only appointed in July.
Questions put to the FA by the Telegraph that even returned to historical allegations about Allardyce’s former football agent son, Craig, had actually pushed him towards the brink of resignation anyway late on Tuesday afternoon.
But in the end the two parties agreed to split, leaving Wembley bosses in a mess as to which way to turn now.
Gareth Southgate has been promoted from England Under 21 boss to caretaker manager for the next four international games, with the FA considering another ambitious attempt to lure Arsene Wenger away from Arsenal at the end of the season.
The pressure is certainly on Glenn and Ashworth when their own judgment has to be questioned, not to mention the level of due diligence done prior to appointing Allardyce two months ago.
Glenn had admitted after Roy Hodgson’s resignation at the end of a disastrous Euro 2016 campaign that he was ‘not a football expert’ but details of Allardyce’s extensive business portfolio were beginning to emerge on Tuesday night.
They included a Newcastle hotel venture that sees him listed among a group of directors that includes England captain Wayne Rooney and goalkeeper Joe Hart.
‘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.’
In a video statement to the FA’s in-house TV channel Glenn said that it had been ‘a very difficult 24 hours’.
He added: ‘In the light of the media allegations that we’ve seen, we’ve concluded — and Sam’s agreed — that his behaviors been inappropriate and frankly not what is expected of an England manager, discussing a range of issues from potential contraventions of FA rules through to personal comments that frankly just don’t work when you’re the manager of England.’
A statement from Allardyce said: ‘Further to recent events, The FA and I have mutually agreed to part company.
‘It was a great honor for me to be appointed back in July and I am deeply disappointed at this outcome.
‘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 recognize 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 cooperated fully in this regard. I also regret my comments with regard to other individuals.’
Over the coming days the FA will have to meet Allardyce’s recently appointed backroom staff — assistant Sammy Lee, goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson and part-time coach Craig Shakespeare — to determine their own futures at the organization.
But Clarke, who was not chairman when Allardyce was interviewed and appointed, may now question whether the FA were aware of the manager’s involvement with a limited liability partnership called Proctor House Newcastle.
The organization, which appears to operate a boutique hotel in the north-east, lists assets of around £3.5m and has a string of business partners that includes Allardyce, Rooney and Hart.
In an interview over Allardyce’s departure on Tuesday night, Clarke said: ‘I don’t think it is embarrassing, I think it is rather sad. You have a manager who is doing a good job for the national team but makes some unguarded comments which leads to a situation where his job is no longer tenable. That is sad.
‘Sam was recruited in the right way, all the things that came out happened after he joined us so we could not have found them in due diligence.’ Dailymail Sports