Roy Hodgson will hold talks with the Football Association about becoming the next England soccer coach after his Premier League club gave its consent.
West Bromwich Albion yesterday granted permission for the ruling body to talk to Hodgson about the post left vacant when Fabio Capello quit in February because of a disagreement with the F.A. over its decision to remove Chelsea defender John Terry as captain.
“Roy is the only manager we have approached and we remain on course to make an appointment within the timescale we set out,” F.A. Chairman David Bernstein said in a statement on the governing body’s website. “Further conversations will now take place with Roy and my Club England colleagues before any further announcements can be made.”
Hodgson, 64, becomes the frontrunner for the England job, pushing aside Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who was the favorite with U.K. bookmakers.
Redknapp said today he has no hard feelings over the approach to Hodgson.
“I don’t hold grudges. I don’t feel like that, there’s no problem” he told Sky Sports. “I’m very fortunate, there are lots of people who would give anything to have the job I’ve got here. If Roy takes the job, I wish him all the best. He’s a great guy.”
Hodgson coached the national teams of Switzerland, Finland and the United Arab Emirates as well as Inter Milan in Italy, Malmo in Sweden, and English clubs Blackburn, Fulham and Liverpool.
He took over West Brom in February 2011 after being fired by Liverpool. He was named Manager of the Year the previous season for taking Fulham to the Europa League final.
Hodgson left Fulham for Liverpool in July 2010. He arrived at the Reds during an ownership struggle and left the following January with the club in 12th place, having won seven of 20 Premier League matches.
The Baggies were in danger of relegation from the top flight, sitting in 17th place when Hodgson took over. He guided them to 11th last season, their highest finish in the Premier League. West Brom is currently 10th in the standings with two games remaining.
“Roy has done a fantastic job over the past 15 months and the fact the F.A. wants to discuss the England role with him is testament to that,” West Brom Chairman Jeremy Peace said on the club’s website. “We have emphasized to Roy how much we would like him to remain.”
Hodgson played non-league soccer with Tonbridge, Gravesend & Northfleet, and Maidstone United after failing to break into the team at Crystal Palace, where he trained as a boy.
He said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. before the F.A.’s approach that he would relish the opportunity to coach the England national team.
“If ever the people in charge decided that I was the man they wanted then I would be delighted to do it,” Hodgson told the BBC. “At the same time, I am also perfectly happy for them to choose someone else if that’s what they want to do.”
Stuart Pearce, England’s under-21 manager, has overseen training and an exhibition match since Capello’s departure. England is preparing for the European Championship, which starts June 8 in Poland and Ukraine.