The argument for | Adam Drury

Ultimately, the FA had little choice but to instigate Sam Allardyce's departure.

They are the guardians of English football, duty-bound not only to promote the national team but also to protect the integrity of the game.

Continuing to publicly pledge their support to a first-team manager who treated their governance with such disregard was simply not an option.

Swerving third-party ownership rules may be standard practice for Premier League managers – company with which Allardyce was affiliated as recently as three months ago.

But the 61-year-old failed to realise while being filmed undercover by The Telegraph that he was not just the new England manager, but the face of English football.

And that is not to mention that Allardyce was discussing endorsing a company that might, in the long-term, benefit from certain individuals being selected for England.

Some conflict of interest.

But it was Allardyce’s brash assertion of power and prestige that truly incriminated him.

Yes, the unctuous talks were swiftly brought to a halt when actually breaking rules was proposed.

But the former manager of five Premier League clubs spoke freely and openly of the money to be made from his underhand techniques.

He then kick-started negotiations which landed him – in theory – £400,000 for four “keynote speeches” with references to the sort of fee Alex Ferguson or Robbie Williams would receive for similar commitments.

Some delusion of grandeur.

And by exploiting a highly-paid and privileged position to further boost his bank balance, he has alienated himself from his admirers.

In addition, to suggest that this affair would not have affected his relationship with England’s players – and, in turn, their results – is naïve in the extreme.

Hushed whispers and awkward silences would have interspersed next week’s preparations for games against Malta and - in the manager’s words - “Slovenia or something”.

How would Joe Hart, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere have reacted to Allardyce speculating about their international futures with anonymous businessmen?

And the motivation of Marcus “Rushford” would have been put to the test, too.

The perennial survivor’s demise is, perhaps, sadly further proof of the eternal truism that “power corrupts”.

He will now know that none of this should have happened, but couldn’t help himself when it did.

Having broken the trust of every relationship he relied upon to succeed as England manager, though, it was clear that Allardyce had no future.

The argument against | Will Rook 


What a horrendous 24 hours it has been for Sam Allardyce.

To say he would regret ever speaking to the make-believe Far East investment company is an understatement.

But the 61-year-old can justifiably feel unfortunate to have been cut adrift from his position as England manager.

It was, admittedly, a show of ineptitude to discuss third-party ownership – along with airing his, not altogether glowing, opinions of the FA – but nothing more.

It is also worth remembering that, during the episode, Allardyce flat-out refused to even entertain any notion of breaking the rules.

And while his brokering of a £400,000 deal to advise the consortium made for uncomfortable viewing, the former Bolton manager still insisted on running the deal past his employers first.

The keynote speeches he referenced as part of the deal, meanwhile, have since been revealed to be innocuous.

Along with representing the company, he would have presented four talks on motivation and management, rather than anything more specifically-linked to the more private intricacies that his job was supposed to entail.

Vocalising his opinions on Roy Hodgson, Wembley and the FA’s finances was misguided, but he did not stray into gross misconduct.

The apologetic call to his predecessor the following morning, meanwhile, at least showed some remorse.

That the FA have executed such a seismic shift in support is hypocritical, then.

Little over two months ago, Allardyce was revered as the right man to lead the Three Lions, despite his previous controversies.

To backtrack now, at the first sign of trouble, betrays the show of loyalty he was given with his two-year contract.

Just 68 days into that deal, Big Sam should have been given an opportunity to reprieve himself.

Having finally succeeded in getting the position he had coveted for so long, he has become an unfortunate victim of his employer’s crumbling in the face of public opinion.