Sam Allardyce's behaviour has been inappropriate and frankly not what is expected of an England manager, says FA CEO Martin Glenn
The England football team suffered more shame after manager Sam Allardyce was axed after only 67 days in the job yesterday.
Allardyce left in disgrace following newspaper claims he offered advice on how to “get around” player transfer rules to undercover reporters posing as businessmen.
The former Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United and Sunderland boss was appointed England manager in July after Roy Hodgson quit following The Three Lions embarrassing defeat to Iceland in the last sixteen at Euro 2016 in France.
The FA issued a statement on its website www.thefa.com and thought Allardyce acted in an “inappropriate” manner.
“Allardyce’s conduct 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.”
Allardyce issued the following statement, via The FA website:
"Further to recent events, The FA and I have mutually agreed to part company,” he said.
"It was a great honour for me to be appointed back in July and I am deeply disappointed at this outcome.
“I met with Greg Clarke and Martin Glenn (on Monday afternoon) 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."
Martin Glenn, The FA’s chief executive, says parting company with the England manager was “a painful decision but the right decision” for protecting The FA’s integrity.
"A very difficult 24 hours. In the light of the media allegations that we've seen, we've concluded – and Sam's agreed – that his behaviour has been inappropriate and frankly not what is expected of an England manager,” he told The FA’s website.
"Discussing a range of issues from potential contraventions of FA rules through to personal comments frankly just don't work when you're the manager of England.
"It's been a really painful decision because obviously we've only just hired Sam, and Sam we think is a great fit for England manager and we think could have been extremely successful. But The FA is more than just running the England men's team. We have to stand up for the right behaviours across the whole game.
"We are the guardians of the game – we set the rules and we have to be seen to apply those rules consistently and evenly, whether you are the England manager or someone low down in the organisation.
"That consistency, that trust that people have in us to behave in the appropriate manner, is core to what any football association is about and certainly true of the English football association. It's a painful decision because we thought he was a great manager, but it's the right decision if we are to protect the integrity of The FA.
"Sam is absolutely distraught. He recognises that he made a terrible error of judgement and I think that he recognises as well that, whilst it's a tough decision that The FA is taking, he can see that at least we have a point.
"Once again, I have to say how personally disappointed I am. I thought Sam had already made a big difference to The FA – he came to St. George's Park and showed real leadership there and had clear enthusiasm for the job at hand.
"I know personally that he is deeply, deeply upset and deeply regrets the error of judgement but I also think that he understands why The FA has had to take this tough decision.
"We're in good hands. Gareth Southgate, the under-21 coach who has got really good international experience and Premier League experience, will take charge of the team for the next four games, from Malta through to the friendly against Spain.
"He's got good back-office support and we'll be having a planning meeting with him later on this week, and we plan to go and win those games.
"It's been a busy 24 hours, so you might imagine that we haven't got a process in place but job one is to secure the England team, which with Gareth we are doing.
"Job two is to reflect on what lessons need to be learned from what we've just gone through and how that might approach a new search – but I think the criteria of the person we're looking for will stay the same.
"The challenge is, with a very talented group of England players, how do you get the best out of them in tournaments? That's still the job to be done."
Meanwhile, shamed Allardyce, 61, told reporters outside his home today: "On reflection, It was a silly thing to do. Unfortunately it was an error of judgement on my behalf, I've paid the consequences. Entrapment has won on this occasion and I have to accept that”.
Allardyce, who was on a £3m per year contract, took charge of one game, a 1-0 win in Slovakia on 4 September 2016 in a World Cup Qualifying game.
Southgate now has to pick up the pieces with the England football team at its lowest ebb – first the shame of losing to Iceland, and now this!
Visit The Football Association’s website: www.thefa.com.