Sam Allardyce's future as England manager is "on the line"
Football Association officials will launch an investigation into the conduct of England manager Sam Allardyce, amid suggestions that it is “touch and go” whether he will survive in his job.
The Daily Telegraph have published an explosive story that includes video footage of Allardyce giving advice to fake football agents, as he suggests he could give them tips to get around transfer regulations set out by his employers at the FA.
Allardyce also pokes fun at his predecessor as England manager Roy Hodgson, while suggesting the FA were wrong to plough hundreds of millions of pounds into the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium.
He also appears to agree a £400,000 deal to work with the fake agents, in what the Telegraph are suggesting may contravene his contract as England manager.
The newspaper sting comes less than two weeks before Allardyce is set to take charge of his first game as England manager at Wembley, yet the word from FA officials suggests the former Bolton, West Ham and Sunderland boss faces a few days of intense scrutiny before it is decided whether he is allowed to continue in his job.
Telegraph revelations very damaging for Allardyce. It's the cumulative effect, particularly the third-party stuff. FA inquest inevitable.— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) September 26, 2016
FA chiefs are declining to make public comment until they have spoken to Allardyce and his advisers about a video that also features his agent, Mark Curtis, and his financial adviser, Shane Moloney.
Yet the vibes coming out from senior FA officials suggest Allardyce faces as difficult few days and there are no guarantees that he will still be in charge of the England national team when the full internal enquiry has been concluded.
FA officials are keen to ensure that the England manager has an unblemished character, with suggestions that Allardyce may be willing to reveal the dark arts of transfer dealings leaving them uneasy.
The embrrassing story revives memories of Glenn Hoddle’s hasty departure as England manager back in 1999 after he made comments about disabled people in a newspaper article that led to his departure from the most prestigious job in English football.
Now there are real doubts over the future of Allardyce as England manager, just a few weeks after he expressed his delight at securing the job he openly admitted he has been chasing for a decade and more.