Sam Allardyce has not ruled out a return to management after an “error of judgment” brought his dream job with England to an embarrassingly early end.
After just one match and 67 days at the helm, the Football Association is having to look for a new manager after the Daily Telegraph’s revelations about Roy Hodgson’s successor threw the governing body into a tailspin.
Secretly-filmed video footage appeared to show former PNE and Blackpool manager Allardyce making numerous controversial remarks about subjects varying from England players to circumventing FA regulations, and side work to his employers.
It led to the 61-year-old’s time at the “pinnacle” coming to a swift end, with England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate parachuted into the hotseat for the four remaining matches in 2016.
Allardyce’s exit did not come as an enormous shock and the outgoing manager released a statement after leaving by mutual consent on Tuesday, before addressing the media the following morning outside his Bolton home.
“Obviously I’ve got to do this before I go away,” he told reporters. I think that on reflection it was a silly thing to do, but just to let everyone know I sort of helped out what was somebody I’d known for 30 years (football agent Scott McGarvey).
“Unfortunately, it was an error of judgment on my behalf and I’ve paid the consequences.
“Entrapment has won on this occasion and I have to accept that.
“The agreement was done very amicably with the FA. I apologise to those and all concerned in this unfortunate situation I’ve put myself in.
“I have a confidentiality agreement and I took the time to talk to you on this matter. I can’t answer any more questions just now. I’m going to go away and reflect on it.
“I am off abroad, just to chill out and reflect. I’d like to wish all the England lads, Gareth and the staff all the best.”
Asked if this would be his last job in football, Allardyce said: “Who knows? We’ll wait and see.”
There is no break for the FA, though, with the World Cup qualifier against Malta just 10 days away.
Discussions regarding the backroom team are under way, with Allardyce having brought in assistant manager Sammy Lee, first-team coach Craig Shakespeare and goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson.
As for Southgate, the newly-installed senior team manager is set to name his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia on Sunday.
The 46-year-old is now the overwhelming bookmakers’ favourite to land the job permanently, although ruled himself out of succeeding Hodgson in the summer.