After a surprisingly short Euro campaign in which England were beaten by Iceland, the FA, surprise, surprise appointed Sam Allardyce as new manager. While Allardyce has made it clear that he always wanted the job and that it is the best job in English football, the salary for his services is reported to be less than his predecessor in office. The press were quick to point out that £3m a year is a sorry amount for an England manager.
In the Wikipedia page for delusion this condition is described as
a belief that is held with strong conviction against superior evidence to the contrary.
Reading reports about the annual salary of Sam Allardyce in his new position as England manager, one cannot but think the England football media establishment is suffering delusion. It is important to look at the performances of the team at the most recent tournament in France. England dominated Russia yet failed to get anything out of this game except a mere point. Against Wales luck was on their side to turn the game around. This was followed by a dull game against Slovakia. OK, three matches in ten days are excruciating, though professional footballers should be able to adapt to such circumstances. Moreover, the Premier League often has the same rhythm. It is therefore astounding to see the team stumble at the first hurdle, in this case against Iceland. England’s qualification for Euro 2016 was impeccable: ten games, ten victories. At this stage, the salary for Roy Hodgson was partly justified.
At his presentation as new England manager Sam Allardyce said it was time to deliver. From the beginning there is pressure on him and he knows it.
Some media reports say that the salary is said to be less than his predeccor’s but still £3m per year. It is the highest salary in international football. Here is where delusion is diagnosed. The evidence of England’s performances in the last six years suggests a stagnation after a decade of reasonable performances at two World Cups and the Euros, with missing out on 2008 being the exception.
As a comparison the German national coach Jogi Löw’s salary is looked at. His current contract sees him earning €3,3m per year. On top of that he has a contract with Nivea for men’s toiletry products. Could we imagine Big Sam in a Nivea ad? Löw has managed Germany for ten years now and has reached two finals, won the World Cup and his teams have always reached at least the semi-finals in every tournament since 2006. A few other figures will give an even better picture. The Portuguese coach Fernando Santos earns €1.2m, the French coach Didier Deschamps €2m a year. Roy Hodgson was the highest paid coach at Euro 2016. It is staggering what the FA are willing to pay for their managers given the performances of players and coach.