Mark Sampson should have been sacked years ago – FA chairman Greg Clarke

Former England women’s manager Mark Sampson should have been sacked “years ago”, according to Football Association chairman Greg Clarke.

Sampson, 34, was dismissed last month for “unacceptable behaviour” after FA chief executive Martin Glenn revisited a report from March 2015.

“It’s the sort of decision that should have been made three or four years ago,” Clarke told the Daily Telegraph.

“But you can’t use that as an excuse to duck the decision today.”

The FA said it was made aware of the full details of safeguarding allegations made against Sampson in 2014 relating to his time as Bristol Academy manager. A 2015 FA assessment found Sampson did not pose a risk.

Clarke added: “Martin said, ‘Look, I found this out yesterday.’ I said, ‘Right, what do you think?’ He told me, I agreed with him and we had a board conference call. We sent out some papers, we asked some questions about legalities, facts, what happened when. And we made a decision.”

Before his dismissal, Sampson was this year cleared of wrongdoing following discrimination allegations made by England players, including Chelsea and England striker Eniola Aluko.

Clarke, Glenn and FA technical director Dan Ashworth, who helped appoint Sampson, have been summoned to appear in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee on 18 October to discuss aspects of the Aluko and Sampson cases.

“These two things have become entangled when they’re different,” said Clarke.

“Just because a safeguarding inquiry reveals some evidence, and that evidence leads us to believe we couldn’t continue to employ Mark Sampson in a senior leadership coaching role for the FA, it doesn’t mean he’s guilty of racism or bullying.

“That’s a separate inquiry. It will come to a conclusion. It will be transparent. It will be shared.”

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