- Exclusive Telegraph investigation: Sam Allardyce for sale
- England boss on brink of losing job after agreeing £400k deal
- He is summoned to Wembley for FA talks as he fights to save job
- ‘Pessimistic’ at chances as he meets ‘deeply concerned’ bosses
- Allardyce filmed giving advice on how to ‘get around’ FA rules
- Manager also claimed HMRC is ‘most corrupt business’ in Britain
- Also caught mocking Roy Hodgson and criticising FA employers
- Sam Wallace: FA can’t employ man who thinks rules are optional
Sam Allardyce is on the brink of losing his job as England manager after an exclusive investigation by The Telegraph revealed he used his position to negotiate a £400,000 deal, report Jason Burt and Ben Rumsby.
FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn were holding an emergency meeting at Wembley Stadium, the organisation’s headquarters, on Tuesday morning to discuss the allegations and are understood to be deeply concerned.
Allardyce held a conference call on Monday evening with the FA and travelled down to London early on Tuesday morning from his home in Bolton to meet with his bosses as he fights to save his job just two months after being appointed.
It is understood that Allardyce is pessimistic about his prospects of surviving, with the FA waiting to hear his side of the story in those face-to-face discussions, after the investigation that also showed Allardyce offered advice to businessmen on how to get around Football Association rules on player transfers.
On Tuesday afternoon, The Telegraph said it would provide the FA with transcripts from its football corruption investigation and confirmed that some material had already been passed to the police.
A spokesperson said: “We will release to the FA the relevant transcripts of our investigation into football corruption.
“These run to many hundreds of pages so will take some time to collate. In line with our investigations protocol, some material has already been passed to the police.”
The fact that Allardyce told the undercover reporters that he would need to clear any deal with his FA bosses is thought to count heavily in his favour.
On Monday night, it was felt that Allardyce’s prospects of staying in the £3million-a-year post were “50/50”, but now it is felt that the odds may be stacked against him carrying on.
Sources have told The Telegraph that the FA takes a “dim view” of the claims and it is understood that he could leave the job as soon as Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Allardyce’s agent has told friends that the England manager “could be sacked by the weekend”, The Telegraph understands.
Mark Curtis, who helped broker a £600,000 deal for Allardyce to carry out work for a Far East investment and sports management firm, believes the findings of a Telegraph investigation into football could lead to the manager’s dismissal by the end of the week.
Mr Curtis was present at a meeting between Allardyce and two undercover reporters at which Allardyce agreed to travel to Singapore and Hong Kong as part of the deal and explained to the businessmen how they could circumvent FA rules which prohibit third parties ‘owning’ players.
Mr Curtis, who said at the meeting that Allardyce would “have to run it past the powers that be” before he could commit a final deal over speaking engagements, has failed to respond to any of The Telegraph’s requests for comment.
Allardyce is facing a grilling from FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn after being secretly filmed making a series of controversial statements over the course of 10 months by the Telegraph’s investigations team.
The FA was seeking the full transcripts of the conversations, with Clarke saying he wanted “all the facts” and to “hear everything from everyone” before deciding the fate of Allardyce, who has been in charge of England for only one match after succeeding Roy Hodgson on a £3 million-a-year deal.
“Natural justice requires us to get to the bottom of the issues before we make any decision,” Clarke added. “With things like this, you have to take a deep breath.”
Senior figures at the FA are aghast that Allardyce, who coveted the England job for years, would even allow himself to be put in the position to be exposed as he was.
Allardyce’s former boss, West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady, has said she is “saddened and disappointed” at the revelations.
Brady, who worked alongside Allardyce when he was manager at Upton Park from 2011 to 2015, said it would be a “great shame” if he loses the job.
“This is a man who spent his whole life trying to get that job and got it in his 60s,” she told the BBC Radio 1 show Newsbeat.
“And what a great shame if he loses that job through non-footballing reasons. And I think he’ll be disappointed in himself.”
The Telegraph’s video shows him telling a fictitious businessesman how to circumvent FA third-party ownership laws and negotiate a £400,000 deal to address investors in a Far East firm, an agreement that could be viewed as a potential conflict of interest.
He was also caught saying it was “not a problem” bypassing “ridiculous” FA rules which stop third parties “owning” football players’ economic rights.
The controversial practice was banned by the FA in 2008 over concerns it compromised the integrity of the game, as the third party could profit whenever a player was sold.
When asked about the rules, Allardyce was filmed on a hidden camera apparently saying: “It’s not a problem.”
He added an unnamed group had been “doing it for years” and “you can still get around it”, suggesting they employ the player’s agents to compensate for the fact they are no longer allowed to profit from each transfer directly.
He added: “You get a percentage of the player’s agent’s fee that the agent pays to you, the company, because he’s done that new deal at the club again or they sell him on, and you’re not getting a part of the transfer fee anymore, because you can’t do that.
“But, you get – because of the size of the contracts now, the contract will be worth £30, £40 million, at 10 per cent and you’ve done a deal with the agent where you’re getting five per cent of the agent’s fee, which is massive for doing about two hours’ work.”
The meeting with reporters also saw Allardyce appear to be filmed questioning predecessor Hodgson’s decision at Euro 2016, at times calling him “Woy” – a word used in a headline in 2012 that the FA called “unacceptable” and relating to Hodgson’s rhotacism.
On his employers, the FA, the video seems to show the England boss saying: “They’re all about making money aren’t they? You know the FA’s the richest football association in the world?”
He qualified that by saying the governing body is not the richest as “they stupidly spent £870million on Wembley, so they are still paying that debt off”.
Allardyce called Prince Harry a “very naughty boy” and complained that the Duke of Cambridge, the FA president, did not turn up to last week’s Euro 2020 launch.
The England manager was also filmed discussing the gambling habits of the country’s current or former senior internationals, the chances of players lining up for England and Hodgson’s assistant Gary Neville.
llardyce, who led Sunderland to Premier League survival last season, was appointed England manager on July 22 after what the FA called a “comprehensive and structured process”.
His England reign got off to a winning start earlier this month with a 1-0 World Cup qualifying win in Slovakia.
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