Just over two months after leaving the role of England manager, Sam Allardyce is the favourite to take over as Crystal Palace boss. He is odds on favourite to get the job after Alan Pardew was sacked earlier today in light of Palace’s poor league position. But how has the disgraced England boss been forgiven so quickly?
His tenure was the shortest in the history of England managers at a mere 67 days. Big Sam had only taken charge of one game which England won 1-0 against Slovakia in a World Cup Qualifier. He was forced to resign as England boss in the wake of allegations that he had advised agents on how to work around transfer regulations set out by the FA. The sting, ran by the Daily Telegraph, forced both Sam Allardyce and the FA into an impossible situation. The only resolution was for Allardyce to step down as England boss.
Managing England was Sam Allardyce’s dream job and why wouldn’t it be? Allardyce was born in England in 1954, he is just old enough to remember England winning the world cup in 1966. He lived and breathed football all his life first as a player then as a manager. The best way for him to influence the future of English football was as manager of the national side. He could have been the driving influence behind England’s rise back to the top of the world, instead his actions have cast the England football team into a dark place.
In discussing ways to evade regulations, in particular those relating to transfer deals, Allardyce has undermined the very body for whom he should have been a role model. On a salary of £3 million pounds, questions should also be asked as to why Allardyce felt the extra work was necessary for the comparatively small fee of £400,000.
Before his time as England manager and the fiasco therein, Sam Allardyce’s record was impressive when you consider how many times he has rescued teams languishing at the wrong end of the table. He most recently demonstrated his ability as manager of Sunderland in 2015 when their fortunes were dramatically turned under his influence, preserving their Premier League status. This, however, should not be enough to warrant Crystal Palace to consider Allardyce as a candidate for the managers role.
Crystal Palace, if they do choose to hire Allardyce will be choosing to ignore the severity of Allardyce’s actions which saw him removed as England manager. It will act as a signal to all those in world football that such actions are acceptable. Allardyce received a short and lenient punishment before his return to a position of high authority. Allardyce is not the only option for the Crystal Palace job; Chris Coleman is the next placed candidate according to Sky Bet who currently rank Coleman’s chances at 6/1, in comparison to Big Sam at 1/6.
In a year of remarkably strange events around the world, the fact that Sam Allardyce is being considered to take the reigns in professional football so soon after being disgraced should come as no surprise. It seems that morality is just an ideal that very few people adhere to. Big Sam may be able to rescue Crystal Palace from relegation this season but his actions tarnished English football. Should he be appointed as Crystal Palace manager in the coming days, questions must be asked of whether the FA’s actions were severe enough. In a time when sport is trying to rid itself of corruption, should Allardyce be allowed to manage again?