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“I’d been a right idiot” – Allardyce opens up for first time on losing England job

Date Posted,May 18, 2017

Sam Allardyce has opened up on the night he was sacked as England manager, and the 200-plus mile drive home that followed.

The now-Crystal Palace manager took charge of the Three Lions last summer, but after just one game in charge lost the job he had always craved.

Big Sam lasted just 67 days as England manager, departing following emergency talks with FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn at Wembley, following remarks about the FA’s rules on third party ownership in an undercover sting by the Daily Telegraph.

The FA decided to act after Allardyce agreed a £400,000 bogus contract to do after dinner speaking but his remarks made to two undercover reporters posing as businessmen were far worse and led to an exit by “mutual consent”.

Now Allardyce has revealed how he felt during that drive back to his family home in Bolton.

Sam Allardyce’s only game as England boss, in Slovakia (Photo: Getty Images Europe)
Sam Allardyce is seen leaving Wembley Stadium after allegedly offering to resign.
Sam Allardyce is seen leaving Wembley (Photo: London News Pictures Ltd)
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“Driving back that night, on my own, I had never driven so slowly in my life,” he told the Daily Mail. “A few people rang. I spoke to them.

“But that was a long, long drive. There was nothing on the road but I just sat at 50mph. Five and a half hours it took. Slowly, slowly. I couldn’t turn the radio on; just drove in silence. It was just s***, s***, s***.”

Allardyce admits that he was “a f****** idiot” to get involved in bogus meetings with undercover reporters, where he was accused of giving advice on how to get round third-party regulations – although he maintains he only attended as a favour to an old friend, football agent Scott McGarvey.

Allardyce is back in the swing of things with Crystal Palace (Photo: Getty)

Additionally, he mocked England predecessor Roy Hodgson.

“That was embarrassing for me,” he says. “No doubt about that. I haven’t spoken to Roy. I made a decision not to call him because I thought it would be better to wait until I saw him, face to face. But I haven’t seen him yet.

“That will be the time to address it though. I’ll definitely do that.”

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