'Allardyce needs chance to clear name'

Sam Allardyce

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said England boss Sam Allardyce “needs to be allowed to defend himself”, following allegations in a newspaper.

A Daily Telegraph investigation says Allardyce, 61, used his role to negotiate a £400,000 deal and offer advice on how to “get around” rules on player transfers.

The former Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham manager also appears to criticise the Football Association, his international predecessor Roy Hodgson and ex-England assistant Gary Neville.

“You have to let Sam Allardyce defend himself and I just hope he will clear his name,” said Wenger.

Allardyce is yet to respond to the allegations, and had been meeting with FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn on Tuesday.

Allardyce, who has only been in charge for one game and 67 days, was only named England boss in July, succeeding Roy Hodgson after a disastrous European Championship campaign.

Meanwhile, former FA communications director Julian Eccles has said that Allardyce’s actions are “at the very least bad judgement”, and said he will have to justify his claims that third party ownership is still prevalent.

During the meeting with undercover reporters posing as businessmen, it is alleged Allardyce said it was “not a problem” to bypass the rules and he knew of agents who were “doing it all the time”.

“I think if he is to keep his job at the very least he has to provide the evidence where he says that agents are still involved in this and he has to apologise for stating that these rules are ‘ridiculous’,” he told BBC News.

“We cannot have such a senior figure in our game being so disrespectful of such important rules.”

Third-party ownership of players was banned by the FA in 2008.

It is further alleged by the paper that a deal was struck with the England boss worth £400,000 for him to represent the company to Far East investors and to be a keynote speaker at events.

However, Allardyce told the undercover reporters that any arrangement would have to be cleared by the FA.

Karren Brady, chief executive of Allardyce’s former club West Ham, said she is “both saddened and disappointedby the developments.

“This is a man who spent his whole life trying to get that job, and got it in his 60s. What a great shame if he loses that job through non-footballing reasons,” she told Radio 1 Newsbeat.

More to follow.

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