Tuesday 23 January 2018

Reds move to close door on England get-out clause for Hodgson

Rory Smith

ROY Hodgson's two-year contract as Liverpool manager, which is expected to be signed today, will not contain a release clause to allow the 62-year-old to take the England job should the post become available.

The Fulham manager is on the verge of agreeing a £3m-a-year deal to succeed Rafael Benitez despite a last-minute wrangle concerning bonuses he feels he is owed by the Craven Cottage club, and he is likely to be officially appointed today.

Hodgson had also been considered a leading contender to replace Fabio Capello should the Italian leave his position as England manager, either in the short or medium term, following the humiliating World Cup last-16 exit to Germany.

Sources at Liverpool, though, insist the uncertainty over Capello's future -- which is officially to be decided in 10 days' time -- did not influence the timescale of Hodgson's imminent appointment at all, while the club insist no provision will be made in his contract to allow him to leave for the national team.

That would force the English Football Association to find sufficient funding to pay Liverpool compensation should they decide to part company with Capello at any point before both managers' contracts expire in 2012. That is an unlikely prospect, given the substantial financial impact dismissing the Italian would incur after the removal of a mutual escape clause in his contract before the World Cup.

Capello has made clear his desire to continue as England manager, while the public backing he received from Phil Gartside, a close associate of Premier League chairman Dave Richards, on Tuesday indicates that there is no unified appetite at the FA to replace him despite events in South Africa.

Irish Independent

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