Southgate succession plan in place after Euro 2024 despite no approaches for England boss

By Sports Desk June 12, 2024

England have started to plan for life after Gareth Southgate but Football Association executive Mark Bullingham insists no approach has been made for the manager, nor has his future been decided.

The Three Lions boss raised questions over his future after German media outlet BILD published an interview this week from Southgate, who suggested Euro 2024 this month is his last chance with England.

Manchester United were reportedly interested in the 53-year-old as well before reaffirming their commitment to under-fire manager Erik ten Hag.

As the European Championship awaits in Germany, Bullingham sought to ease any fears over the future of Southgate, though reiterated the FA has already thought through a succession plan.

"Gareth has been really, really clear that he wants to talk about that after the tournament," Bullingham said.

"And I don't want to provide any distraction for him and the team, and I want to respect the fact that he wants to talk about the future after the tournament.

 "I've seen some things about, 'Have we got a plan, haven't we?' Any organisation has a succession plan in place for their top employees, and we are no different to that.

"A succession plan normally includes everything from what you do for the short-term cover, through to a process you follow, through to [drawing up] a candidate pool. We have that for all our top employees."

Bullingham also assured that Southgate's future will not be dictated by success at Euro 2024, with the manager's contract set to expire in December.

"[The team] could go further but be playing poorly or have a really unlucky result where you get a couple of red cards and hit the woodwork three times," the FA chief added.

"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."

In a staunch defence of Southgate, Bullingham lauded the job the former England international has done, guiding the Three Lions to the Euro 2020 final and World Cup semi-finals in 2018.

"I would say I think the world of Gareth, I think he has done a phenomenal job," Bullingham said.

"I think he has transformed the fortunes of our team, and that's not just off the pitch, 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, so we value him massively."

Should Southgate leave, Bullingham remains open to bringing in another homegrown talent to manage England.

"We have two senior coaches," he continued. "One of them is English, one of them [England women's boss Sarina Wiegman] is not.

"Any federation in the world would always want to have a pool of top homegrown talent playing and managing at any time."

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