Roy Hodgson has resigned as England manager following the 2-1 Euro 2016 round of 16 defeat to Iceland.
Hodgson labelled the loss as “not acceptable” and said it was “time for someone else to oversee the progress of this young, hungry group.”
The 68-year-old, who took England to the quarterfinals of Euro 2012 and was eliminated at the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, confirmed his assistants Ray Lewington and Gary Neville would depart with him.
Before coming to speak to the media, the trio went in and spoke to the players, as well as telling Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn and technical director Dan Ashworth of their decision.
Hodgson took no questions from reporters, instead only reading the statement composed in the dressing room after the final whistle.
“I’m extremely disappointed, of course, about tonight’s result and ultimately our exit from the competition,” he said. “We haven’t progressed as far as I thought we were capable of, and that’s obviously not acceptable.
“I am actually proud of the work that my coaching staff and I have achieved in our time at the helm with England. The transition from a squad whose average was 30 to now being the youngest in the tournament is both remarkable and exciting for the future of English football.
“I would have loved to stay on for another two years, however I am pragmatic and know that we are in the results business. My contract was always up after the Euros so now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of this young, hungry and extremely talented group of players.
“They’ve been fantastic and they have done everything that has been asked of them. When I arrived I was told that players didn’t turn up to play for their country or that they pull out at the last minute. But I have not seen any of that. These players love to play for their country and their commitment has been unquestioned.
“Ray and Gary have asked me to speak on their behalf. They arrived with me as part of my coaching team and they’ll leave with me. I’d like to thank them for their dedicated support and for the major part they’ve played in our team preparation.
“Finally I’d like to thank all the support staff, players, the FA and of course the fans. It’s been a fantastic journey these four years and it’s one I’ll look back on or remember with pride. Finally I’d like to thank you, the media, for the support that you’ve given me over the four years.
“I am sorry it’s had to end this way with another exit from the tournament but these things happen and all I can do is wish everybody all the very best and hope that you will still be able to see an England team in a final of a major tournament fairly soon.
“We’ve been unable to deliver. Thank you very much.”
England finished second in Group B at Euro 2016 following a 1-1 draw with Russia, a 2-1 win against Wales and a goalless draw with Slovakia.
The search will now begin for a successor with Gareth Southgate, Alan Pardew, Brendan Rodgers, Eddie Howe and Gary Neville some of the names mentioned as early contenders.
England’s qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup begins on Sept. 4 away to Slovakia, and the FA will hope to have a new permanent manager in place by then.
In a statement, the FA said it accepted Hodgson’s resignation.
“Like the nation, we are disappointed to lose this evening and that our run in Euro 2016 has come to a premature end,” the statement said. “We had high hopes of progressing through to the latter stages of the competition and accept that we have not met our own expectations or those of the country.
“We back Roy Hodgson’s decision to step down as England manager and will discuss next steps imminently. For now, we congratulate Iceland for reaching the quarter final and wish them well against France at the weekend.
“Finally, our sincere thanks go to the travelling fans for their incredible support tonight and to everyone back home for getting behind the team.”