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Controversial former England women's coach given chance to revive career

Mark Sampson has been appointed caretaker manager of Stevenage.

Mark Sampson (file pic).
Mark Sampson (file pic).
Image: Martin Rickett

MARK SAMPSON HAS been appointed caretaker manager of Stevenage, the struggling English League Two club announced on Monday, giving the Welshman a chance to resurrect his career after being sacked as England’s women’s coach following a controversial spell in charge.

“Mark Sampson will assume control of the team in a caretaker role, assisted by newly appointed U18 manager Alex Revell, until further notice,” Stevenage said in a statement.

Sampson replaces Tunisian Dino Maamria, who was sacked with the fourth-tier club sitting second from bottom with just three points having failed to win in seven league games.

The 36-year-old has been on Stevenage’s staff since the summer in what was his first job in football since being fired by the Football Association in 2017 for “inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour” in his previous role as manager at Bristol Academy.

Sampson enjoyed success on the pitch with the England women’s team — guiding England to the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup and the 2017 European Championships — but off it he was dogged by controversy.

Former England star Eni Aluko accused him of racism, harassment and bullying while Drew Spence claimed he had made disparaging remarks to her about whether she had been arrested before.

He was cleared over those allegations, but instead was dismissed by the FA following a historic safeguarding investigation into his conduct in 2014 while manager of Bristol Academy.

The FA later agreed a confidential financial settlement with Sampson — who was believed to be on £100,000 a year — after he brought a case for unfair dismissal with his contract supposed to run until 2019.

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