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New FA chief vows to bring greater transparency to English game

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Britain Football Soccer - UEFA EURO 2020 Launch Event - London City Hall - 21/9/16 FA Chairman Greg Clarke during the launch Action Images via Reuters / Tony O'Brien Livepic
Britain Football Soccer - UEFA EURO 2020 Launch Event - London City Hall - 21/9/16 FA Chairman Greg Clarke during the launch Action Images via Reuters / Tony O'Brien Livepic

By Rex Gowar

LONDON (Reuters) - The next England soccer manager will have to pass strict behaviour protocol tests and vow 100 percent commitment to the job, FA Chairman Greg Clarke told British MPs on Monday.

He would ideally be English and, if not, should be fully conversant with the game in England and have several years experience of managing at the top level.

Clarke, who has been Football Association Chairman since early September, was grilled by the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee following Sam Allardyce’s ill-fated 67-day reign as England manager.

“Sam was in breach of his duties as an employee ... He let us down badly, because in the end we want an England manager whose sole priority is winning for the team," Clarke said.

Allardyce, given the job in July, left after the Daily Telegraph reported that he had allegedly offered advice on how to get round FA transfer rules. He was in charge for one World Cup qualifier.

The committee, concerned about corruption in English football, questioned whether the FA had delved deeply enough into Allardyce’s past before appointing him, citing a TV investigation in 2006 into his transfer deals as a club manager.

Clarke, who for six years was chairman of the Football League which governs the professional game below the Premier League, said no wronging had been found.

The story by undercover reporters published three weeks ago included allegations that Allardyce, hired for a reported 3 million pounds ($3.7 million) a year, was offered 400,000 pounds to represent a Far East firm interested in investing in the English game, if possible by circumventing rules.

The committee focused on Allardyce’s perceived greed and said it expected the FA to ensure the next England manager would be solely committed to improving the national team after years of under-achievement.

Gareth Southgate was promoted from coaching the Under-21 side to fill the vacancy as caretaker manager and given four matches to try to earn the position permanently. The first two games yielded a win and a draw.

Clarke said the ideal candidate would be English but he did not rule out a foreigner provided he was well versed in the English game. The FA has long coveted Arsenal’s long-serving French manager Arsene Wenger.

Allardyce, whose has managed clubs including Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Sunderland, was given the England job after the team failed miserably at Euro 2016 under Roy Hodgson.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)


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