The lesson for employers from Sam Allardyce's departure as
England manager is that when an organisation holds itself to higher
standards of behaviour and propriety, it can require its employees
to do the same.
That's the view of Ogier employment lawyer Daniel Read, who
says that while Allardyce's comments may have been
uncontroversial had he been a Premier League manager or a football
fan, the fact that English football's governing body explicitly
and publicly holds itself to higher standards meant that they had a
legitimate expectation that its employees would meet those
The FA's 'DNA' resource lays out those standards
clearly – saying that: "We strive for the highest
standards on and off the field. Nothing less is acceptable."
– and that point meant that comments that may have been
acceptable in other roles were not acceptable in the £3
million per year job of England Manager.
Dan said: "His comments on the apparent mental fragility of
the England football team, the cost of the Wembley Stadium
redevelopment and his predecessor were, if anything, fairly bland
compared to what you could hear from any English football fan,
anywhere, at just about any time.
"But the culture and function of an organisation is a
relevant factor when considering the behaviour of employees –
and coming from the mouth of an England Manager, the comments on
third party ownership and agents fees were clearly deeply
embarrassing for the FA.
"Ultimately, the question of how far an employer's
culture can inform its treatment of employees comes down to a
question of degree.
"Certain businesses can justify having a low threshold for
unacceptable conduct. For instance in a Jersey Employment Tribunal
case, Fernandez v Silver Springs, a care home could insist on very
high levels of care and virtually zero tolerance threshold to
breaches of policy.
"The lofty of ambition of the FA would have to be matched
by the reality of what it does.
"It is important to remember that the FA is not just the
governing body for football, but also the regulator when it comes
to disciplinary sanctions for footballers and for clubs. Given this
dual role, it is imperative that it and its staff are beyond
reproach. Otherwise any disciplinary process could be
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