Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham wants England manager Gareth Southgate to extend his stay beyond next year’s World Cup, regardless of what happens against Germany.
After reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup three years ago and finishing third in the Premier League in 2019, the Three Lions have the chance to make this summer an unforgettable one during the reorganized Euro.
England are currently preparing to face Germany in front of more than 40,000 people in the highly anticipated European Championship round of 16 game on Tuesday at Wembley.
Southgate’s side have not captured the imagination despite having reached the knockout stage as Group D winners, but Bullingham is delighted with the overall job the manager has done.
“Do I like football? Yes I am,” he said. “Gareth did a brilliant job, finishing first in the group, really strong defense, and he did really well on and off the pitch in all aspects.
“Our support is unwavering. 100% unwavering. Unswerving support. We are 100% behind Gareth. He knows how we feel about him.
“We think he’s brilliant, on and off the pitch. We want him to continue. He does a great job. Regardless of Tuesday. Absolutely.
“Whatever the group stage of the tournament, we would have wanted him to continue, not just in (this) tournament, but if you look at the Nations League as well, he did it brilliantly.
“I remember the game against Spain (3-2 Nations League victory in October 2018) – absolutely amazing performances.”
Southgate was given the England role following the quick departure of Roy Hodgson’s successor Sam Allardyce in 2016, with the U21 boss doing enough temporary control to secure a four-year contract.
The former defender signed a new contract in October 2018 to take him to next year’s World Cup in Qatar and Bullingham would like him to stay beyond that.
“Gareth knows exactly how we feel about him,” he said. “He knows we think he’s doing a great job and we would like him to continue.
“We would like him to continue, for sure, beyond this contract.”
Bullingham has said they will “start this formal conversation after this tournament” but believes Southgate “could do anything in the club world or the FA world” given his skills.
But he didn’t ask the 50-year-old what he wanted to do at a time when everyone is focused on the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on July 11.
It was confirmed earlier this week that 60,000 people will attend the semi-finals and the final under the arch after talks with UEFA over the possibility of moving the final away from London.
“It was definitely a real possibility to be moved,” Bullingham said. “The government has been fantastic, working closely with them and UEFA has gotten us to a very good position.
“It must have come and must have balanced public health throughout this, but we made a sensible decision. “
Bullingham says group matches at Wembley have gone well so far and hopes this can provide the platform for a return of supporters in large numbers next season.
“We are really looking forward to this,” he added. “We have always said that we want the Euro to be the platform for next season.
“We hope we can do this safely and all the evidence to date from the research program (suggests) that we are not causing any significant epidemics for anything.
“The first three (games had) 58,000 people (and) only 15 positive tests. It’s really positive. We know it’s an outside environment.
“We know that everyone is faced with the same situation, these are important factors. As long as we can put the infrastructure in place, the transportations are developed, we are convinced that we can provide a safe environment.”