Crestfallen Sam Allardyce has admitted his disappointment after the Football Association ended his 67-day tenure over what it called “a significant error of judgement”.
Allardyce was forced to apologise after he was secretly filmed discussing how to break rules on third-party ownership of players and making disparaging comments about his predecessor Roy Hodgson, former assistant coach Gary Neville, Prince William and the FA, but it was not enough to save his £3m-a-year position.
England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate has been placed in temporary charge of the senior team for this month’s matches against Malta and Slovenia and next month’s clashes with Scotland and Spain.
“Allardyce’s conduct was inappropriate of the England manager,” the FA said in a statement confirming his departure after an afternoon of talks at Wembley.
“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.”
Allardyce, who signed a two-year contract in July after a poor performance at this summer’s European Championships cost Hodgson his job, issued his own statement on the shortest reign of any England boss.
“It was a great honour for me to be appointed back in July and I am deeply disappointed at this outcome,” he said.
“This afternoon, I met with [FA chairman] Greg Clarke and [chief executive] 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.”
The former Sunderland, West Ham, Newcastle, Blackburn and Bolton manager landed a job he had coveted for more than a decade when he was chosen to succeed Hodgson.
He won his first and only match in charge last month, a 2018 World Cup qualifier in Slovakia, with Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana scoring the only goal deep into stoppage time.