Football: Keegan The Timetable, How the story unfolded

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The Independent Online
2 February: Glenn Hoddle is sacked after his comments on the disabled and reincarnation. Kevin Keegan is 4-1 second favourite behind FA technical director Howard Wilkinson, who is appointed caretaker coach.

February 3: Keegan rules himself out of the running for the first time.

February 10: England are beaten 2-0 by world champions France at Wembley. Wilkinson insists the FA must name their man well before the Euro 2000 qualifier against Poland. "From the point of view of the team's prospects it is crucial that the team knows, or the FA knows, who is going to be in charge and where we are going for that game," Wilkinson says.

February 11: Renewed calls for Keegan see Fulham's chief operating officer, with 18 months to run in his Fulham contract, insist: "I'm staying here. There is no way I will leave Fulham. Mr al-Fayed gave me a budget of millions and the freedom of the club. And that means more to me than the England job. The timing's just not right." Despite his comments, bookmakers report a rush of bets on Keegan. "I've heard what he's said and he can deny he's interested until he's red, white and blue in the face. People who put that sort of money on aren't guessing," says a William Hill spokesman.

February 12: Former England No 2 Lawrie McMenemy claims Keegan has "all the attributes" required for the top job. "The timing is wrong - but it is never the right time."

February 13: Acting FA chairman Geoff Thompson hints that Keegan has the charisma to lift England's squad for the Euro 2000 qualifier against Poland on 27 March. "I think you're making a case for Keegan there. I agree with you."

February 14: Fulham lose 1-0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round, and Keegan admits for the first time he would be prepared to listen to the FA. "I will talk to them - I never said I wouldn't." Fulham owner Mohamed al-Fayed gives the FA approval to talk to Keegan.

February 15: Noel White, the head of the FA's international committee, and David Davies, the FA's interim executive director, meet Keegan for two hours of talks.

February 17: The FA announces that Keegan is England coach for the next four games.