Sam Allardyce has signed an initial two-year deal to become England’s new manager, the Football Assocation has announced.
The 61-year-old former Preston player, who has also managed Blackpool knew the job was his on Wednesday but a compensation package with his club Sunderland needed to be finalised before the announcement could be made.
Allardyce, who begins work immediately, said: “I am extremely honoured to be appointed England manager especially as it is no secret that this is the role I have always wanted. For me, it is absolutely the best job in English football.”
Allardyce, who missed out on the job to Steve McClaren in 2006, was the unanimous choice of a three-man selection panel comprising FA chief executive Martin Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth and acting chairman David Gill.
Roy Hodgson’s successor continued: “I will do everything I can to help England do well and give our nation the success our fans deserve. Above all, we have to make the people and the whole country proud.
“While my main focus will be on the senior team and getting positive results, I want to add my influence to the great work being done across the development teams at St George’s Park - a facility I have used with my previous clubs.
“I know we have talented, committed players and it is time for us to deliver.”
In their search for Hodgson’s successor Glenn, Gill and Ashworth also interviewed Steve Bruce, reported to have left his job with Hull earlier on Friday, and considered Arsene Wenger, Eddie Howe and Jurgen Klinsmann.
But Allardyce emerged as the clear favourite and the trio presented their findings to the FA board on Thursday.
Glenn said: “Sam Allardyce is the right man for the England job.
“His excellent managerial credentials, including his ability to realise the potential of players and teams, develop a strong team ethos and embrace modern methods that enhance performance, made him the outstanding choice.
“That was underlined when we sat down to talk and we could not help but be energised by his personal perspective on England’s future and how it complemented the extensive work that we are looking to build on at St George’s Park.
“Dan Ashworth, David Gill and I have carried out a thorough process in the last three weeks and ultimately we could not look beyond Sam as the ideal candidate.”
Although Allardyce’s deal only extends to the end of the 2018 World Cup, there is a clear appetite within the FA to make it a longer relationship.
He is being encouraged not only to focus on reversing the fortunes of the senior side, who have now gone 50 years since their solitary tournament success and hit a new nadir with their Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland, but to overhaul the very fabric of the national set-up.
The statement continued: “Alongside his primary target of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Allardyce has a mandate to shape a strong, purposeful team identity and maximise the performance potential of a young, talented England squad at a major tournament.
“Allardyce is also charged with helping Ashworth integrate and strengthen the FA’s elite performance and coaching programme across the England senior and development teams at St George’s Park.”
The former Bolton, West Ham and Newcastle boss will select his first squad towards the end of August, with a Wembley friendly against unnamed opponents on September 1 and the opening World Cup qualifier in Slovakia three days later.