Sam Allardyce is understood to be “outraged” after agents’ chief Mel Stein said the Football Association could have dug deeper for information before appointing him as England boss.
Press Association Sport understands Allardyce, who left his post last week after just 67 days in charge after making controversial comments in conversation with undercover reporters, is considering legal action after being made aware of Stein’s comments on Wednesday evening.
Association of Football Agents founder Stein said the FA should have asked his colleagues about Allardyce, who would have forecast “a storm” around a manager who is “not Mother Teresa”.
He compared the matter to the BBC’s failure to deal with rumours surrounding Jimmy Savile.
Press Association Sport understands Allardyce felt Stein’s comments were outrageous and he is taking advice over further action.
England manager Sam Allardyce attends a training session at St George’s Park near Burton-Upon-Trent in central England on August 30, 2016 ahead of their World Cup 2018 qualifier football match against Slovakia. England face Slovakia in a World Cup qualifi
England manager Sam Allardyce attends a training session at St George’s Park near Burton-Upon-Trent in central England on August 30, 2016 ahead of their World Cup 2018 qualifier football match against Slovakia. England face Slovakia in a World Cup qualifiAFP
Stein, founder of the Association of Football Agents, has spoken out to say that all the FA ought to have asked him or one of his colleagues if they wanted to know about Allardyce, who left his post last week after just 67 days in charge following a newspaper sting.
In 2006, Allardyce denied allegations regarding illegal payments made in a BBC Panorama programme, and came into the England job with a clean record as a manager.
There is no suggestion Allardyce had a history of breaching rules, but Stein said football agents could have offered more background information about his character.
“I’m not suggesting in any shape, form or size that we [football agents] should be involved in appointing an England manager,” he said.
“But … if anybody had spoken to any of us about [the FA’s] last appointment [Allardyce], we would’ve said, ‘You know what, he’s not Mother Teresa’.
“I’m not saying he’s guilty of anything,” Stein added.
“But clearly if you were looking for somebody who was going to not cause you any problem, probably Allardyce was not your man.
“He may well have been the best manager for the job – and that’s a decision to make.”
The 61-year-old former Bolton and West Ham boss was filmed by undercover reporters making controversial remarks about a variety of subjects, including side work and explaining how to bypass FA rules on third-party player ownership. Allardyce believed he was talking to a business representative of an overseas investment firm, willing to pay him £400,000 as a keynote speaker, and apologised after the Daily Telegraph published his comments and he lost his job.
Rather incredibly, Stein then suggested that the FA had buried its head in the sand over Allardyce in the same way that the BBC did with Jimmy Savile.
“Just like Jimmy Savile at the BBC, when people came out of the woodwork afterwards saying ‘Well, everybody knew about Jimmy Savile’,” he added – and while his point is clear, Stein must have known that this would be a highly inflammatory remark, one which saw his comments splashed across the back of one tabloid on Thursday.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn defended the appointment of Allardyce last week it is “realistic” to expect that charges will follow the recent Telegraph investigation for Allardyce, which could lead to a fine or ban from football.
Glenn said that, at the time of making the appointment, the FA knew Allardyce “was a man of the world” but that “his leadership credentials were excellent”.
“We knew there had been a Panorama inquiry a few years ago,” said Glenn.
“But he was a guy who had a senior position on the League Managers’ Association. Known in the game.
“We referenced him widely. He’s Sam, he’s loud, he’s brash but he is in the middle of the fairway in terms of behaviour.”
Glenn added that Allardyce is now expected to face FA charges and a fine or ban from the game.