Clarke says Allardyce received pay-off after losing England job
Chairman Greg Clarke has admitted Sam Allardyce received a pay-off when he lost the England job but denied the Football Association failed to scrutinise the manager’s background before hiring him.
Allardyce and the FA “mutually terminated” their contract after only 67 days when the 61-year-old was caught making indiscreet remarks on camera by Daily Telegraph reporters investigating allegations of corruption in football.
Clarke and the FA’s director of strategy Robert Sullivan were appearing before the House of Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport Committee, with the MPs repeatedly challenging them on what due diligence was done before Allardyce was hired in July.
“I wasn’t there because I have only been in this post for five weeks but I am assured by board members that they did do due diligence on Mr Allardyce,” said Clarke, who frequently reminded the MPs during the two-hour session that his time at the FA overlapped with Allardyce’s by just two weeks.
“Significant inquiries were made, we spoke to his former clubs and the League Managers Association – no issues were raised.”
But neither Clarke nor Sullivan, who was at the FA when Allardyce was appointed, were able to say if Allardyce was questioned about the corruption claims made about him and his son Craig, an agent, by the BBC’s Panorama in 2006.
They were also unable to confirm if anybody asked Allardyce about the four transfer deals he was involved in that were flagged up as suspicious by Lord Stevens’ 2007 report into overseas player deals.
Allardyce has always denied any wrongdoing.
Clarke’s inability to answer questions about historic allegations of wrongdoing frequently irritated the MPs but, overall, the former Leicester City and Football League chairman came across well.
The MPs did not like the idea of Allardyce receiving a “financial arrangement” – reported to be £1million – and it was that subject that provided the session’s most lively exchanges.