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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Gareth Southgate and FA downplay pay rise after signing new three-year England deal

The Football Association has insisted that Gareth Southgate is not receiving a pay rise to his basic salary under a new three-year contract for the England manager.

The extension, which takes him and assistant Steve Holland up until the end of 2024, could nevertheless see Southgate earn close to £6million a year which would represent double his current deal.

However, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, who put the “template” together, insisted it was a “performance-related contract” and any rises “are self-funded by either increases in commercial revenue or tournament prize money”.

In announcing the deal – which Telegraph Sport revealed earlier this month – Bullingham added that: “both Gareth and Steve understand that and wanted it that way”. 

The FA is acutely aware it would have otherwise come in for criticism having undergone severe cutbacks last year, amid the Covid crisis, with 124 redundancies (15 per cent of its workforce) and projected losses of £300million for the not-for-profit organisation. The FA also took out a £175million taxpayer-backed loan while England earned around £21million in prize money alone for reaching the Euro 2020 final.

“Within the FA I am very conscious of what we have been through as an organisation,” Southgate, who took a temporary 30 per cent pay cut last year, said. “I am very conscious that we fund grassroots football and so whatever we have earned over the period of time it would have been right to have to prove ourselves.

“Now we have Wembley full more regularly and the prize money for reaching the latter stages of tournaments and we want to make sure that when we are sitting listening to our chief financial officer telling us where we are that we have more than played our part in keeping the business side in the right place. That is a consequence of performances and results and bringing enjoyment to the country as well. In an ideal world you want, as a manager who cares about English football and about the organisation, to be able to fulfil all those things really.”

The contract takes Southgate beyond Euro 2024 to the end of the year with Bullingham explaining it was the idea of FA technical director John McDermott so there is a “period of reflection after the tournament” in Germany that summer which will avoid the need to rush into another new deal. Even so there is still a break clause, which can be activated by either party, after the Euros.

Southgate insisted that he shown no interest in the recent managerial jobs in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Norwich City all making appointments because he had already agreed terms on his new deal and was fully committed to England.

Asked whether he would one day return to club management he added, in reference to his perceived failure in charge of Middlesbrough: “There is the obvious challenge because people view my club management purely through the eyes of a relegation, there is the obvious part of you that wants to prove people wrong. There will be a day when I do that, I sure.” Southgate pointed out that when his deal with England runs out he will still be just 53.

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