Sam Allardyce’s tenure as England manager has ended after just 67 days following alleged remarks he made in a video recorded by undercover reporters offering advice on how to circumvent rules on transfers, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed.
England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate will take charge of the senior team’s next four matches – World Cup qualifiers against Malta, Slovenia and Scotland, along with a friendly against Spain.
The Daily Telegraph published footage claiming to be from a meeting in August of Allardyce telling two men purporting to be from a Far East firm that he could offer advice on how to “get round” FA regulations concerning the transfer of players under third-party ownership.
He was also alleged to have reached an agreement worth £400,000 to represent the fictitious firm to investors and be a keynote speaker at certain events, though he made it clear than any arrangement would need FA clearance.
The 61-year-old is then said to have criticised predecessor Roy Hodgson and his assistant Gary Neville for England’s Euro 2016 exit to Iceland, while he brands the FA’s expensive rebuilding of Wembley as “stupid”.
“The FA can confirm that Sam Allardyce has left his position as England manager,” said an FA statement released on Tuesday.
“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.”
England won Allardyce’s sole match in charge, a 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory in Slovakia thanks to an injury time goal from Adam Lallana.
In a short video clip released by the FA, chief executive Martin Glenn, who oversaw Allardyce’s appointment following England’s Euro 2016 elimination, said: “[It has been] a very difficult 24 hours, in the light of the media allegations we have seen we’ve concluded and Sam’s agreed that his behaviour has been inappropriate and frankly not what is expected of an England manager – discussing a range of issues from potential contravention of FA rules through to personal comments that frankly just don’t work when you’re the manager of England.”