England boss sacked after safeguarding concerns emerge

The manager of the England women’s football team has lost his job following fresh allegations of inappropriate conduct.

Mark Sampson was dismissed from his role after it emerged that the Welshman had previously faced allegations of inappropriate relationships with players during his time as boss of Bristol Academy.

The Football Association’s chief executive, Martin Glenn, said he had taken the decision to terminate Mr Sampson’s contract after he was made aware of the previous controversy.

Mr Sampson’s tenure as England boss has been dogged by controversy, with claims made by former striker Eni Aluko that there was bullying and harassment within the team.

While Mr Sampson had been exonerated following an investigation, it is understood that a whistleblower had urged Mr Glenn to read a full report into separate safeguarding allegations made against Sampson, dating from his spell at Bristol.

Addressing a press conference this week, the FA boss said: “The full report of that investigation was only made known to me last week.

“On reading it I immediately shared it with Greg [Clarke, FA chairman] and we were both deeply concerned with the contents of the report. Let’s be really clear: no laws were broken; Greg and I are not able to challenge the professional views of our safeguarding experts.

“We thought the conduct issues raised in the report was the problem. Mark had overstepped the professional boundaries between player and coach. We know that coaches are in a potential position of power and that position mustn’t be abused. We have to be really clear and I think we are at the FA, about what we stand for in that respect.”

The controversy is likely to raise fresh questions about the governing body’s due diligence, particularly since Mr Sampson’s departure comes almost a year to the day since the abrupt exit of men’s team manager Sam Allardyce.

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Mohit Pasricha

Mohit Pasricha

Solicitor at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Mohit is a member of Mackrell Turner Garrett’s Corporate and Commercial Department in London. He joined the firm as a trainee in 2014, having completed a Law LLB at the University of Surrey and a Legal Practice Course at the University of Law.