Former England assistant Gary Neville on Sam Allardyce's exit
Last Updated: 03/10/16 10:01am
Gary Neville believes Sam Allardyce's sacking sets a precedent the Football Association must stick to going forward.
Allardyce's reign as England boss was cut short just 67 days into his tenure after a Daily Telegraph investigation filmed him discussing a number of controversial topics, including third-party ownership of players - an aspect of the game the FA have played a key role in banning.
Neville, who was assistant to Allardyce's predecessor Roy Hodgson, believes Allardyce may have been able to keep hold of his job had he forged stronger relationships with fans, players and the FA itself over a longer period of time.
However, given the proximity of the scandal to his appointment, Neville felt the FA were justified in their swift action of removing him.
Speaking on the Gary Neville podcast, the Sky Sports pundit said: "For four years it was pretty placid in terms of the headlines but what's happened this week has taken me back to my first 20 years with England and previous managers where these type of scandals, unfortunately, happened quite often.
"It's been a messy week, Sam has been clumsy and he's admitted that, he's been caught up in pub chat.
"It's an interesting situation though, if Sam had been in the job for 12 months and built up some more embedded support with the nation, or if there were stronger relationships with his players, he might have been able to hang on.
"But only being a few weeks into the job it seemed to go away from him. The FA acted swiftly, you have to congratulate them on bringing the matter to a close because it's the type of thing that could have been damaging if it had gone on for three or four days."
The FA confirmed they and Allardyce had mutually agreed to terminate his position after his "inappropriate" behaviour was brought to their attention by the Telegraph sting.
I don’t understand the “mutual” aspect of Sam’s departure. He was sacked in my mind because there was no way he would have walked in and handed his resignation in, everybody knows that.
Gary Neville on Sam Allardyce's England exit
Reports have since suggested Allardyce received a substantial pay-off despite potentially being subjected to a separate FA charge for his comments.
Neville questioned whether Allardyce had indeed been sacked given his actions before questioning the reasoning behind issuing a pay-out.
"I don't understand the "mutual" aspect of Sam's departure," he added. "He was sacked in my mind because there was no way Sam Allardyce would have walked in and handed his resignation in, everybody knows that.
"The question that needs asking more than anything is that the FA cited "inappropriate behaviour", yet reports suggest there has been a payoff of a £1m. You have to ask why (there was a pay-out) if it was inappropriate behaviour.
"When you are setting the bar of moral standards, which is what the new regime are doing, that's fine, nobody can disagree with it, but moving that forward is going to be interesting.
"When players are caught taking laughing gas, or drink driving instances in the last five or 10 years is that inappropriate? Should they be eligible for England when those things happen?
"In terms of Sam's chat he didn't say 'this is how you get around the rules and regulation', he didn't come up with the topic. There wasn't a golden bullet you could say was wrong, it was wrong but not in the sense that there was an improper or criminal activity going on, it was more a moral issue.
"This is a moral sacking, and when you take the moral exit route, particularly when you're talking about the national game, you have to see it through.
"It will be interesting in the future when there are incidents like player or staff misdemeanour whether they follow through with the same actions, and that is sometimes difficult to do.
"If inappropriate behaviour means you're going to lose your job then why was there, as is being reported, such a payoff?"