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England have Gareth Southgate succession plan if he quits after Euro 2024

Gareth Southgate
Gareth Southgate had been linked with the Manchester United job - Getty Images/Boris Streubel

Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham has insisted there is a succession plan for the possible departure of England manager Gareth Southgate, despite confirming that no talks have been held with any candidates to replace him.

Bullingham also revealed that the FA has received no approaches from clubs for Southgate, who had been linked with the Manchester United job before the decision for Erik ten Hag to stay.

Telegraph Sport reported this week that the FA is yet to identify a preferred successor to Southgate and has kept a rolling list of potential replacements that it will only start work on if and when he leaves his post.

Southgate this week told German media “I probably won’t be here anymore” if England do not win the European Championship.

Bullingham, though, dismissed any fears that the FA could effectively be left high and dry if Southgate decides to leave his job following an end-of-tournament review that will take place after the Euros.

“I have said before that any organisation really has a succession plan in place for their top employees and we are no different to that,” said Bullingham.

“This succession plan normally includes everything from what you do for short-term cover, through to a process you follow to candidates. We have that for top employees. That’s the same that we have.”

Asked if the FA had spoken to any potential candidates to succeed Southgate, Bullingham added: “No.”

Bullingham did not rule out considering foreign candidates, such as Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel, who would both be keen on the England job, to succeed Southgate.

“We have two senior coaches,” said Bullingham. “One of them is English (Southgate), one of them is not (Sarina Wiegman). Any federation in the world would always want to have a pool of top homegrown talent playing and managing at any time.”

Southgate was thought to be considered by United as a possible successor to Ten Hag, while a host of other Premier League clubs have already changed managers this summer, including Liverpool, Chelsea, Brighton and newly-promoted Leicester City.

“I’ve had no approach about him,” said Bullingham. “There have been no approaches.”

The FA’s first-choice scenario would be for Southgate to sign a new contract past his current deal that expires in December and Bulligham made it clear he will not be judged purely on whether or not England win the Euros.

“We are sitting down after the tournament together and will talk about everything,” said Bullingham. “I know why people would love for there to always be a really arbitrary level (of success or failure). But I don’t think you can set one for any tournament with any manager. Because you could go further, but be playing poorly or have a really unlucky result where you get a couple of red cards.

“So I think setting an arbitrary figure isn’t the right way to go, I think we step back and look at everything after the tournament. That is why, traditionally, international manager contracts end 10 days after the tournament or whatever, but you know that we have got longer than that.

“What I’m saying is we will evaluate everything after the tournament, see how he feels, see how we feel and see how the tournament has gone.

“What I would say is Gareth has been really, really clear that he wants to talk about his future after the tournament. I don’t want to provide any distraction for him and the team.

“I will say that I think the world of Gareth, I think he has done a phenomenal job. I think he has transformed the fortunes of our men’s senior team, and that’s not just off the pitch, which a lot of people talk about, and you can see the culture but also the performances on the pitch.

“Since 1966, he has won about half of our knockout games which is a measure we really use. You know we value him massively.”