Belfast Telegraph

Shamed Sam Allardyce blasts sting that caught him out


By Ian Herbert

Sam Allardyce claimed “entrapment has won” after being forced to end his 67-day tenure as England manager following a newspaper sting operation.

The former Bolton, Newcastle and Sunderland boss was filmed appearing to instruct journalists from The Daily Telegraph, posing as businessmen from the Far East, about how to “get around” strict third party transfer regulations.

The practice was banned by the Football Association in 2008 and by Fifa, the world football governing body, seven years later, preventing external figures from “owning” the economic rights belonging to individual players.

Speaking to reporters outside his family home in Bolton, Allardyce said: “On reflection it was a silly thing to do, but I helped out someone I have known for 30 years.

“It was an error in judgment and I paid the consequences. Entrapment has won on this occasion and I have to accept that. 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.

“I have a confidentiality agreement and I can’t answer any more questions. I am going to go and reflect on it. I would like to wish Gareth Southgate and all of the England lads the best.”

Asked if the job would be his last in football, the 61-year-old added: “Who knows. We’ll wait and see.”

Southgate, the former England defender who managed Middlesbrough between 2006 and 2009, will lead the national side for the World Cup qualifiers against Malta at Wembley on 9 October and away to Slovenia in Ljubljana three days later.

The 46-year-old, currently the England Under-21s coach, is the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Allardyce on a full-time basis, but has openly admitted that he needs to earn more experience in management before stepping up to the senior position.

Eddie Howe, the Bournemouth manager, and ex-Hull City boss Steve Bruce are also understood to be in contention after being considered for the post upon Roy Hodgson’s departure this summer.

USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew are among other names to have been suggested. Glenn Hoddle, who managed England for three years before the turn of the millennium, is priced as third favourite.

Allardyce could seek solace in qualified support offered by the likes of Jose Mourinho and former England boss Steve McClaren.

Talking ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Zorya Luhansk tonight, Mourinho said he felt “sorry” for Allardyce and added: “I liked him and I respected him before and that is not going to change.”

McClaren appeared to question the tactics employed in the Daily Telegraph sting, insisting: “It could have happened to any of us in a high-profile position and Sam has innocently paid the price and it just shows where sport is, at the elite level, that privacy can only be found in the four walls of your home.”

Belfast Telegraph


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