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Sam Allardyce: Ex-England boss says entrapment has won

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Sam Allardyce: Ex-England boss says ‘entrapment has won’

Ex-England boss Sam Allardyce has said “entrapment has won” after newspaper allegations led to him stepping down as manager of the national side.

Allardyce left in disgrace after just 67 days after The Daily Telegraph said he advised undercover reporters posing as businessmen how to “get around” player transfer rules.

He said it was a “silly thing to do”.

But when asked if it was his last job in management, the 61-year-old said: “Who knows? We’ll wait and see.”

  • Analysis: Why FA had to let Allardyce go
  • Who is in the frame for England job?
  • England a laughing stock – Alan Shearer

“Unfortunately it was an error of judgement on my behalf,” added the former Sunderland manager. “I’ve paid the consequences. Entrapment has won on this occasion and I have to accept that.”

Earlier, he told Sky Sports he had only attended the meeting with the undercover reporters as a favour to friend and agent Scott McGarvey, who he says was hoping to land a job out of it.

The former Bolton, West Ham, Newcastle, Notts County and Blackburn boss was appointed England manager in July after Roy Hodgson left the role following the side’s last-16 defeat by Iceland at Euro 2016.

The Football Association called his conduct “inappropriate” and said his contract was ended by mutual consent.

Speaking to reporters outside his home on Wednesday, Allardyce said: “The agreement was done very amicably with The FA and I apologise to those and all concerned in the unfortunate position I’ve put myself in.”

Allardyce also wished “all the very best” to England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate, who will take charge of the national side for the next four games, as well as the players and staff.

England’s next match is a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Malta at Wembley on Saturday, 8 October. Malta lost 5-1 to Scotland earlier this month.

What did Allardyce do?

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Allardyce was filmed telling undercover reporters it was “not a problem” to bypass rules on third-party player ownership and claimed he knew of agents who were “doing it all the time”.

Third-party ownership – when someone other than the buying and selling club owns a stake in a player, typically an investor – has been banned by the FA and world football’s governing body Fifa.

The practice has also been described as a form of “slavery” by Michel Platini, the former president of European football’s governing body Uefa.

The Telegraph investigation also claimed that a £400,000 deal was struck for Allardyce to represent the Far East firm the reporters claimed to work for and to be a keynote speaker at events, though Allardyce stressed he would have to “run that by” his employers, the FA, first.

Allardyce also referred to his predecessor Roy Hodgson as “Woy”, making fun of his manner of speaking, criticised Gary Neville, one of Hodgson’s assistants, and made comments about FA president Prince William. He also described another member of the Royal family, Prince Harry, as a “naughty boy”.

Further details of the Telegraph’s wide-ranging investigation are published in Wednesday’s edition of the paper, including a claim that eight past and present Premier League managers received illicit payments for transfers.

Five of the eight, who have not been named, have denied the allegations while three are yet to comment, the paper says.

Will he get compensation?

Allardyce was just two months into a two-year deal as England boss with a salary understood to be worth £3m a year.

Despite only being in charge for one game, the Daily Mail reported that he had received a “seven-figure pay-off” from the FA.

However, former FA chief executive David Bernstein said he hoped this was not the case, telling BBC Radio 5 live: “The hubris of it all is extraordinary.

“This is a man earning £3m a year. I wonder whether there’s a pay-off or not. I hope not, because I don’t think 50 or 60 days’ work merits a pay-off.

“There’s no question he brought the FA and football into disrepute and that’s not acceptable. I have very little sympathy.”

Who said what?

“I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m staggered at the misjudgement from a guy who said this was his dream job.” Ex-England striker and BBC pundit Alan Shearer.

“I like Sam. I feel sorry. I know it was his dream job. I like him and respect him.” Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

“I’ve got a little bit of sympathy for him, but he gave the FA no choice.” Former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage.

“If you want to be the England manager you have to be whiter than white and the Telegraph investigation shows he wasn’t. This guy is being paid around £3m a year, why was he grubbing around trying to find £400,000 from somewhere?” Former FA chairman Greg Dyke.

“I don’t think fans will be annoyed that he is explaining how to get around rules, I think it is more that he was chasing money around the world when the focus should have been on the England job.” Former England defender Danny Mills.

“We have been clear that we expect the highest standards of governance and transparency from sports governing bodies, here in the UK and on the international stage. In this context, the recent allegations regarding English football are very concerning and we will be discussing the matter with the football authorities.” Sports Minister Tracey Crouch.

What next for England?

After just one match in charge – a 1-0 win over Slovakia in England’s opening game of their World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign – Allardyce becomes the national side’s shortest-serving full-time manager.

The FA said it would begin its search for a new England manager while Southgate takes charge for the Malta game as well as World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Scotland plus a friendly with Spain.

Allardyce was due to name his next squad on Sunday.

Analysis

BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty

Allardyce went abroad on Wednesday, visibly devastated he had engineered the downfall of his long-held dream to manage England after only 67 days.

Once the dust has settled on an episode that provides much personal humiliation for him, will one of English football’s most durable managerial figures ever contemplate a return to the game?

He did not rule it out – and the smart money will be on several chairmen not ruling it out in the future either.

As the season progresses and teams drop into trouble, there will undoubtedly be a call for the sort of relegation-avoiding expertise Allardyce has shown throughout his career, not least at Sunderland last season.

It was his work with the Black Cats that smoothed his path to England – and it will not be forgotten when the spectre of strife and relegation rears its head for clubs as the season goes on.

Yes, Allardyce’s credibility is currently broken but a manager who can prevent a club’s relegation can save them millions. And there will always be a chairman out there who will believe Allardyce’s baggage comes with a price worth paying.