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Former England manager Sam Allardyce threatens to sue the FA

Ex-England manager Sam Allardyce has threatened the Football Association with legal action
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Sam Allardyce has launched a stinging attack on the FA and threatened to take legal action against them after having a key element of his complaint against a national newspaper upheld by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

In September 2016, Allardyce’s reign as England manager ended after just one game and 67 days in charge after he was targeted by undercover reporters in a Daily Telegraph sting aimed at exposing corruption in football.

A month later, Martin Glenn, the FA’s chief executive, attempted to explain to the BBC why Allardyce had to go. Glenn said: ‘The issue we had with Sam was that in implying he could help people circumvent the rules, we felt in every other situation in the next few years we’d have that thrown back in our face. We have to apply the rules consistently. This would have impaired our ability to do that.’

Ex-England manager Sam Allardyce has threatened the Football Association with legal action

Ex-England manager Sam Allardyce has threatened the Football Association with legal action

An IPSO committee rejected a number of the complaints made by Allardyce and his representatives, who were secretly filmed by undercover reporters. 

But the Telegraph have been ordered to clarify what Allardyce allegedly said about circumventing rules on third-party ownership.

In particular, claims Allardyce, IPSO have concluded that the 63-year-old — who most recently managed Everton — did not advise reporters who were posing as businessmen interested in investing in football how to get around rules on third-party ownership. 

Allardyce name-checked Martin Glenn (left) and Greg Clarke (right) in a statement this week

Allardyce name-checked Martin Glenn (left) and Greg Clarke (right) in a statement this week

Allardyce name-checked Martin Glenn (left) and Greg Clarke (right) in a statement this week

While a statement issued on Wednesday night suggests Allardyce remains unhappy that IPSO defended the Telegraph on the majority of the complaints, he feels it was the comments attributed to him on third-party ownership — a practice that is now banned by FIFA — that cost him his job.

In his statement Allardyce was scathing in his criticism of the FA and said he is consulting with his lawyers. He accused the FA of acting too hastily and making a decision on his future without seeing the full transcripts from the recordings of his two meetings with the undercover reporters.

‘Had the FA stuck to their word and waited to see the Telegraph’s evidence (as they originally told me they would) they would have seen the allegations made against me were false,’ Allardyce said in his statement on Wednesday.

Allardyce took charge of one England match — a 1-0 win over Slovakia in September 2016

Allardyce took charge of one England match — a 1-0 win over Slovakia in September 2016

Allardyce took charge of one England match — a 1-0 win over Slovakia in September 2016

‘It was of course the allegations about third-party ownership that the FA stated were the reasons for my leaving. I will consider my position in this regard with my lawyers but I hope Martin Glenn and Greg Clarke (FA chairman) reflect on the lack of leadership they showed — not for the first time or I expect the last. I waited many years to be England manager and believe I would have made a success of the position.

‘It took me a long while to recover from the disappointment of losing the position I’d worked so hard for because of stories I knew were false. I was very lucky that Crystal Palace and then Everton gave me the chance to rebuild my reputation and enjoy the game again. I wish Gareth Southgate all the best with the England position and he has shown he is more than capable.

‘There are some great players in the England set-up and I hope they are not let down by the administrators. I also hope those journalists who think the interests of English football are best served by attacking those involved in the game on a false basis feel some remorse — though I doubt it.’

Allardyce has admitted it took him a long time to come to terms with losing the England job

Allardyce has admitted it took him a long time to come to terms with losing the England job

Allardyce has admitted it took him a long time to come to terms with losing the England job

In the same statement Allardyce reflected on the findings of IPSO. He said: ‘Following a complaint made in November 2016 IPSO has now found (and stated that the Telegraph should make clear) that I did not suggest a model by which a third party could benefit from sharing in a player’s transfer fees; did not brief reporters on breaking the rules; and did not enter negotiations to provide guidance on how to get around rules on TPO.

‘IPSO also found that the articles made no accusation of corruption against me and the Telegraph confirmed it made no such allegation.’ 

An FA spokesperson said on Wednesday night: ‘We have not been involved with, and do not know, the details of the IPSO report. However we can confirm that the FA’s position on Sam Allardyce has not changed. He apologised for his behaviour at the time and we reached a mutual agreement which both parties were happy with.’


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