McClaren to be sacked as England coach

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London, Nov 22: England coach Steve McClaren is facing the sack following their dismal exit from Euro 2008, British media reported in the early hours today.

The beleaguered McClaren accepted full responsibility for England's failure to reach the finals but, at a news conference after his team's 3-2 defeat by Croatia, he ruled out resignation.

That may be an academic point as his employers at the English Football Association announced an 1400 IST board meeting.

''Members of the Football Association executive board will hold a meeting ... to bring an end to Steve McClaren's brief but disastrous reign as England manager,'' the Daily Telegraph reported on its Web site.

''The need to act swiftly was clear to FA chief executive Brian Barwick directly after the final whistle at Wembley as McClaren's players were greeted with boos from the angry Wembley crowd.'' ''AXED - Boss Mac dumped after Euro failure,'' read the headline on tabloid The Sun's Web site.

''Even in defeat, Steve McClaren stayed defiant to the bitter end -- before the FA put us all out of our misery,'' The Sun reported, adding that England are ''the joke of European football''.

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''At 10.15pm, McClaren stood in front of the TV cameras and insisted he was not going to resign, despite a shattering 3-2 defeat to Croatia that sent us crashing out of Euro 2008.

''But if McClaren wasn't prepared to do the decent thing, at least the FA were. By 10.40pm, they had sealed his fate for him.'' The Guardian pitched in with ''McClaren faces sack after breakfast'', adding that the coach's compensation package could total 2.5 million pounds (5.16 million dollars).

''The 12-man (FA) board will be asked to approve his immediate removal and is expected to vote unanimously in favour,'' the Guardian reported on its Web site.

''His departure is likely to be presented as a mutual decision but he left the FA with little option but to sack him by last night insisting that he would not resign.'' England's loss to Croatia confirmed their absence from a major tournament for the first time since the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

McClaren, who took over from Sven-Goran Eriksson as England coach after the 2006 World Cup, has two years left of his four-year contract.

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is favourite to be the next England manager.

Bookmakers made Mourinho, Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill and Portugal boss Luis Felipe Scolari among the front-runners to take over from McClaren.

UNI

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