English FA accused of ‘failure’ over Sam Allardyce appointment

Parliamentary committee say interview process for manager was not done with due diligence

The English Football Association has been accused of "institutional failure" by a parliamentary committee for failing to conduct proper due diligence on Sam Allardyce, after the England manager departed after just one match in charge following a newspaper sting.

MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee said it was “extraordinary“ that Allardyce received a payoff, believed to be in the region of £1 million, when he left following an embarrassing sting in which he discussed a £400,000 overseas speaking engagement and appeared to offer advice on getting around third-party ownership rules.

Defended payoff

The FA chairman,

Greg Clarke


, defended the payoff given to Allardyce under the terms of his contract and the process that led to his appointment.

"The reason Mr Allardyce parted company with the FA was for things he did after he joined the FA not for things he did before he joined the FA," said Clarke, who was appointed in August and was not in the role when the former Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United manager was appointed in the wake of Roy Hodgson's departure.

He said that he was not aware whether Allardyce was specifically asked at his interview about the issues arising from a 2006 review by Lord Stevens and Quest, which identified 17 suspect transactions, of which four involved Allardyce.

Clarke said that because they were international transfers, the FA was unable to take the matter further and Fifa failed to act because it said too much time had passed.

"The FA appointed a manager who was a central figure in the biggest ever investigation initiated by football into improper payments and bungs. We know the FA didn't speak to Panorama, who made the programme that led to that investigation," said Damian Collins, the acting committee chair.

Right question

Collins said that if the FA had not asked the right questions ahead of Allardyce’s appointment it would amount to an “institutional failure“.

“I don’t believe the FA spoke to Quest or Lord Stevens before the appointment and to not be able to ascertain whether it was discussed with him before the appointment was made – I think a lot of people would find that astonishing.“

Collins pointed to comments last week from David Gill, the former Manchester United chief executive who sits on the FA board, in which he said that no one had seen the Allardyce situation coming. "I think lots of people saw this coming and it was only the FA that didn't," said Collins.

Martin Glenn, the FA chief executive, has said Allardyce, who has always denied any wrongdoing, was asked about the issues arising from the Quest investigation at his interview. Guardian Service