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Ex-England manager Sam Allardyce threatens FA with legal action over exit

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Former England manager Sam Allardyce has threatened legal action against the Football Association over his departure from the Three Lions job.

The FA and Allardyce mutually agreed to terminate his contract in September 2016.

It followed a newspaper sting in which he discussed third party ownership of players with undercover reporters posing as businessmen.

Allardyce’s conduct was described as “inappropriate” of an England manager by the FA when it announced his departure.

The 63-year-old has now attacked FA bosses for being “more concerned with their own image” following a ruling by a press regulator.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) upheld Allardyce’s complaints about the Daily Telegraph’s “inaccurate” claims he gave advice on how to get around rules on third party ownership.

However, IPSO disagreed with Allardyce’s grievance about the newspaper’s use of subterfuge, with the watchdog ruling it was in the public interest.

Some of the lines serving Wembley may not be running on Saturday
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FA bosses at Wembley described Allardyce’s conduct as ‘inappropriate’

In a statement, Allardyce said: “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 that the allegations made against me were false.

“It was of course the allegations about third party ownership that the FA stated were the reasons for my leaving.

“It was clear that those that I was dealing with were more concerned with their own image than getting to the truth of what had occurred.

“I will consider my position in this regard with my lawyers.”

Allardyce oversaw just one match as England manager – a role for which his salary was reportedly £3m a year – before his tenure came to an end after 67 days.

He later went on to manage Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Everton, who he thanked for allowing him “the chance to rebuild my reputation and enjoy the game again”.

Allardyce added: “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 that I knew were false.”

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group G - England vs Belgium - Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad, Russia - June 28, 2018 England manager Gareth Southgate applauds their fans after the match REUTERS/Marko Djurica
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Allardyce’s successor, Gareth Southgate, led England to the World Cup semi-finals

Following the IPSO ruling, the Daily Telegraph published a correction on page two of its edition on Thursday for inaccuracies in three articles from September 2016.

In a news article above the correction, the newspaper said: “On the major issues raised by Mr Allardyce, IPSO found for the Telegraph.

“It upheld our right to use subterfuge and secret filming, since there was a strong public interest in investigating and it was reasonable for the Telegraph to have believed that it could only obtain material evidence through subterfuge.

“Additionally, IPSO found that whilst it could not be demonstrated that Mr Allardyce had broken any FA rules, he appeared to show disregard for them and had spoken disrespectfully about them to people he had only just met.

“Further, although any intention of achieving any improper benefit was denied, he had explained a model that could reasonably be understood to result in a third party benefiting from a player’s transfer from one team to another.”

Allardyce was replaced as England manager by Gareth Southgate, who led the side to the World Cup semi-finals this summer.

An FA spokesperson said: “We have not been involved with, and do not know, the details of the Independent Press Standards Organisation 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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