Sam Allardyce quits Crystal Palace and has no ambitions to take another job
Crystal Palace are looking for their eighth manager in seven years after Sam Allardyce announced his resignation and says he has no ambitions to take another job
Crystal Palace are looking for their eighth manager in seven years after Sam Allardyce shocked the chairman, Steve Parish, by tendering his resignation as he seeks a break from top-level management after a tumultuous year.
Allardyce only signed a contract through to 2019 at Selhurst Park just before Christmas having been charged with steering a struggling team into a fifth successive top-flight campaign. That was eventually guaranteed with a 14th-place finish, and eye-catching wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool en route, only for the 62-year-old to quit just five months into the role and two days after the sides last game of term.
He was due a bonus of around 2m for keeping the club in the Premier League, with Palace having eventually finished seven points clear of the cut-off, and had initially suggested he would approach the task of restructuring the squad this summer with relish. However that stance shifted over the weekend as he reflected on the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager. He met Parish at the clubs central London office on Tuesday and after a 26-year coaching career that has included spells at six top-flight clubs, he informed the chairman that he did not wish to remain in the post.
In some ways this has been a very difficult decision to make, but in others it has been a simple one, he said in a statement released on Tuesday evening. I will always be grateful to Crystal Palace and Steve Parish for giving me the opportunity to go out with my head held high having helped keep the club in the Premier League. More than that, they gave me a chance of rebuilding my reputation after what happened with England. I felt I needed another shot at being a Premier League manager and Palace gave me the chance of rehabilitation.
Thats why its hard walking away now. I think the club are heading in the right direction with a hugely supportive board of directors, a great squad of players and some of the most passionate fans Ive ever met. Its been a privilege to have worked here for the past five months. But there comes a time when you have to take stock of what direction you want your life to take, and thats been the simple part for me.
I want to be able to savour life while Im still relatively young and when Im still relatively healthy enough to do all the things I want to do, like travel and spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager. This is the right time for me. I have no ambitions to take another job. I simply want to be able to enjoy all the things you cannot really enjoy with the 24/7 demands of managing any football club, let alone one in the Premier League.
Rewind 12 months and Allardyce had successfully salvaged Sunderlands top-flight season before taking up the reins with England post-Euro 2016. Yet his tenure with the national team extended no further than 67 days and one match as a newspaper sting prompted his departure. He succeeded Alan Pardew at Selhurst Park in December with the team 17th after one win in 11 games and, after a difficult start and with heavy backing in the January transfer window, steered them to safety on the penultimate weekend.
Palace were understandably planning for a future under Allardyce given how well things had gone under his stewardship, and with plans well under way for a revamp of the playing squad this summer. Some senior players have already been informed they will either not be retained or are available to move, with Tuesdays meeting in Parishs Soho office having initially been scheduled to discuss transfer budgets and recruitment plans. Instead, while the talks were amicable, they concluded with the club searching for yet another manager.
Steve Parish has been superb during our conversations today, added Allardyce. I know it came as a shock to him that I would walk away, but our discussions have been incredibly civilised with no recriminations and no fall-out. This is not about transfer targets, finances or anything along those lines. This is me taking the decision I believe is right for my family and myself. Ive no doubt I will miss management, but I certainly have no regrets at this decision.
The club have now been in left in a familiar state of flux, with players unsure where their futures lie Andros Townsend took to social media on Tuesday to tweet simply Wow and recruitment plans effectively on hold. Allardyces initial intention had been to pinpoint up to 10 new players with the intention of ensuring Palace avoided being sucked into another relegation scrap next term. One of those, Jermain Defoe, is to join Bournemouth on a three-year deal worth around 65,000-a-week and a sizeable signing-on bonus.
Palace may now seek to ascertain Marco Silvas situation as the Portuguese prepares to depart Hull City, with Porto having expressed an interest in securing his services. The former Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, may also be sounded out.
The new incumbent will have to be shrewd in the market this summer with the board having spent heavily in January as they sought to edge clear of the bottom. The likes of Luka Milivojevic, Patrick van Aanholt and Jeffrey Schlupp were brought in for an outlay of around 40m, on hefty wages, with Mamadou Sakho also recruited on loan from Liverpool. While Parish had still aspired to recruit the France defender on a permanent basis, that mid-season spending could yet influence the clubs policy over the summer as they seek to comply with financial fair play regulations within the Premier League.
Some players, including the Wales international Joe Ledley, are out of contract and will leave, while the likes of Fraizer Campbell, Bakary Sako, Lee Chung-yong are all expected to depart. The futures of James McArthur and Scott Dann, who began the season as club captain, are also uncertain.