Sam Allardyce has given an emotional interview to talkSPORT about the ‘turmoil’ he went through after losing the England job.
The 63-year-old was forced to depart his dream role as manager of the national team after just 67 days in September 2016 following an undercover investigation by the Daily Telegraph aimed at exposing corruption in football.
Allardyce was secretly filmed meeting reporters posing as businessmen and was claimed to have offered advice on how to “get around” rules on third-party ownership of players.
He has always denied any wrongdoing and, speaking to Jim White on Thursday, insisted he had been vindicated by this week’s ruling by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).
While IPSO ruled the Telegraph’s investigation was justified in the public interest and was “generally accurate”, the press regulator found that they had breached the Editors’ Code on three specific points, including the allegations about third-party ownership (TPO) that the FA stated were the reasons for Allardyce’s departure.
“We have won on the three biggest counts,” said Big Sam, in response to IPSO dismissing the other 22 complaints he made about the investigation.
“Inaccuracy is an understatement, it was done on purpose. They had to maximise the sensationalism of the story.
“The point (on TPO) was the biggest one of all and that was the reason I lost the England job.”
Allardyce’s lawyer, Mark Bateman, joined him on the Jim White show and added: “IPSO is a press regulator that the press have put in, rather than government.
“They are not entirely independent, whatever they want to call themselves, and the bottom line is after two years even they have had to come out and say ‘no, Telegraph, you got this significant element of the story wrong’ and for this to happen is remarkable.”
On the Football Association’s decision to dispense with his services, Allardyce claimed the governing body had failed to follow employment law when sacking him.
“I didn’t expect the reaction (from the FA),” he said.
“I’d got called down to Wembley and I’d actually been at a golf tournament when it broke. I had to get home and see what the situation was. I didn’t really know how to react or what to do.
“To cut a long story short it was about ‘let’s wait and see what happens’. And clearly by the time I got down there it wasn’t about that, it was all done and dusted in a few hours, which was a huge shock.
“I had no choice in leaving, and none of the employment laws that you would expect were followed. I can’t really say any more than that.”
Allardyce was back in football within two months of his exit from England, taking charge of Crystal Palace.
He spent just five months at Selhurst Park but says the time there helped him get his life back on track.
“Crystal Palace saved me, they got me out of the depression I was suffering,” he said.
“My life was in turmoil.
“I was living in a cloud I couldn’t get myself out of at that time.
“What followed for many, many weeks (after losing the England job) was so upsetting and disturbing.
“I have gone through the mill and come out the other side.”
Listen to the full emotional interview with Sam Allardyce on talkSPORT above