Shamed Allardyce axed as England manager after just one game in charge
Sam Allardyce left his position as England manager yesterday after only one match in charge over a series of damaging comments to undercover reporters that the English Football Association deemed "inappropriate."
The FA acted swiftly after the Daily Telegraph published video footage of Allardyce appearing to offer advice on how to sidestep an outlawed player transfer practice and to also negotiate a £400,000 (€460,000) public-speaking contract with reporters posing as 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 Allardyce was only hired on July 22 and had a contract through to 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."
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.
Allardyce released a statement last night which read: "Further to recent events, The FA and I have mutually agreed to part company. It was a great honour 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 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." Allardyce suggested the national manager's role was his "dream job" on his appointment as Roy Hodgson's successor in July.
After opening World Cup qualifying with a victory in Slovakia, England plays 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.