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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Gareth Southgate signs new England deal to secure huge pay hike

Gareth Southgate believes England have ‘a great opportunity in front of us’ after signing his new contract with the Football Association to remain manager until the end of 2024.

Southgate and his assistant manager, Steve Holland, have agreed a two-year extension to their deals following the team’s run to the final of last summer’s European Championship, where they were defeated by Italy in a penalty shootout.

In announcing the contract extension – which Telegraph Sport revealed earlier this month and will see Southgate receive a significant pay increase of nearly double his current £3 million deal – the FA recognised his record since taking the reins five years ago, having reached the semi-finals of both the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 Uefa Nations League.

And having secured their place at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Southgate believes everything is in place to go a step further than this summer’s achievement.

“I am delighted that Steve and I have been able to extend our stay in our respective roles,” Southgate said. 

“It remains an incredible privilege to lead this team. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark (Bullingham, CEO), John (McDermott, technical director) and the Board for their support – and of course the players and support team for their hard work. 

“We have a great opportunity in front of us and I know they and the fans are all excited about what this squad could achieve in future.”

Southgate’s new deal with the FA is worth around £5m plus bonuses and it was his wish that the team first secure qualification for next year’s World Cup finals before a final agreement was confirmed. 

It will take his salary close to the levels of the best-paid England manager of all time, Fabio Capello, who earned around £6m a year when he agreed a new deal on the eve of the 2010 World Cup finals. 

Southgate has overseen a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the team since the low point of Euro 2016 elimination at the hands of Iceland. And his assistant Holland has been a key figure in the Southgate years as both tactician and helping navigate the selection decisions that the England manager now faces with a greater pool of native talent.

Southgate’s staff has changed over his five years in charge but Holland has been a trusted advisor to the England manager. Southgate’s previous contract extension in October 2018 secured his future until the end of next year’s World Cup. The new deal is the first done with Southgate by McDermott since he joined the FA in March last year.

England captain Harry Kane said during this month’s international window that the players wanted Southgate to stay in charge. “Personally (I) and a lot of the lads obviously love Gareth and we want him to stay as long as possible. It’s his personal decision and we are backing whatever he does,” said Kane.

Southgate continues to work at St George’s Park for part of the week, the FA centre which was in part created by the England manager when he first joined the FA in 2011 as head of elite development. It would open in 2012 and Southgate, who briefly left the FA, would return as coach of the Under-21s and with a remit over all junior teams.

It was he who helped devise the “England DNA” document that would be the FA’s modern coaching blueprint. His contract to 2024 will take him to 13 years at the FA, less that brief time away. Eight years as England manager would match Bobby Robson’s run from 1982 to 1990. 

Southgate is fourth on the list of longevity, one ahead of Sven-Goran Eriksson, with 68 games in charge after leading England to a 10-0 thrashing of San Marino last week. Only Robson and the two longest-serving incumbents, Walter Winterbottom and Sir Alf Ramsey, have managed more England internationals. Of permanent appointments, only Capello has a better win percentage than Southgate.

By 2024 it is hoped that the talented generation of English players born around the turn of the millennium, led by the likes of Phil Foden and Mason Mount, will have delivered the England team just the second trophy of its 149-year history.

The World Cup, just under one year from now in Qatar, will come first and the new contract extension for Southgate will remove any uncertainty going into that tournament. The European Championship in 2024 will be held in Germany.

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