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Naive Sam Allardyce's axing was a self-inflicted wound

Trevor Steven
England Training Session and Press Conference
Allardyce was only appointed to the job in July (Source: Getty)

He may not have broken any rules himself, but footage apparently showing Sam Allardyce talking about how to bend Football Association regulations was virtually an act of treachery against his employers.

Although the role only involves managing around 10 games per season, it requires the individual to be an ambassador for the FA and the country 365 days a year. How he failed to fathom that, I do not know.

His departure after just one match in charge is absolutely a self-inflicted wound. He was surprisingly naive and should never have even entertained talk about third-party ownership.

Read more: No legal reason preventing FA from sacking Allardyce

After a long career largely at the highest levels, Sam should be too experienced for that. These undercover operations are nothing new: predecessor Sven-Goran Eriksson faced something similar.

It was a calamity and the FA had little choice but to act quickly, with an England squad due to be picked on Sunday and meet up next week for two World Cup qualifying fixtures.

Big Sam's boisterousness looks silly now

It is also a personal disaster for Allardyce, who had made no secret of pursuing the England job for several years. I don’t know where he goes from here.

He was boisterous when he marched in to take charge in July, after the departure of Roy Hodgson and a dreadful Euro 2016, but that all looks a bit silly now.

Gareth Southgate has been placed in temporary charge but the man I would like to see replace Allardyce is Glenn Hoddle, who I argued in favour of before Sam’s appointment.

Meanwhile, the episode that ended Allardyce’s reign feels like another reminder that football is a beautiful game but a dirty industry.

His conversation with undercover reporters posing as businessmen, although it did not lead to him breaking rules, suggests that such offences are still rife despite a crackdown on third-party ownership.

There have always been shady goings-on in football but now there is so much money in the game and so many people chasing it. That greed casts a sorry light on where football is at this point.

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